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University of Montana 


Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers 


Diary of Nicholas II ; 1 9 1 7- 1 9 1 8, an annotated 

Kent de Price 

The University of Montana 

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Kent D. Price 

B. A., University of Montana, 1965 

jsented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of 

Master of Arts 
University of Montana 

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Chairman , Board of Examiners 




Graduate School 


OCT 1 ^66 

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789 East Eisenhower Parkway 
P.O.Box 1346 
Ann Arbor, Ml 48106 -1346 

In the house of the Romanovs, as in that of the 
Atrides, a mysterious curse descends from generation 
to generation. Murder and adultery, blood and mud, 
the fifth act of a tragedy played in a brothel. 

Peter I kills his son; Alexander I kills his father; 
Catherine II kills her husband .. .The block, the rope, 
and poison - these are the true emblems of the Russian 

Merejkovsky commenting on the 1905 Revolution. 


Never trouble thy mind for anything 
that shall happen to thee in this world. 
Nothing can come but what God wills. 

Sir Thomas More 


Nicholas II kept a diary in which he wrote an entry 
nearly every day. This diary has never been translated 
into English, and there is only a partial translation 
into French which appeared in 1925 under the title 
Journal Intime de Nicolas II . Sections of the diary 
are translated here from Krasnyl Arkhiv — Red Archives — 
vol. 20, pp. 123 - 52 ; vol. 21, pp. 79 - 96 ; vol. 22, pp. 

71-91; vol. 27* pp. 110-38; and vol. 6k - , pp. 130-38. The 
translation from the Russian was done by Mr. Arlo Furnis, 
a student of Russian language at the University of Montana. 
Mr. Furnis and the writer worked closely to ensure the 
accuracy of the translation. 

To give some understanding of the character of the 
Tsar, the writer has prefaced the diary with a picture of 
the Tsar's habits, family background, and personal life. 

The Tsar wrote in his diary at 11:00 nearly every 
night. To it he confided family events, people who visited 
him, and items of interest in his personal life. Nicholas 
has been criticized by many for saying little of importance 
in the diary. But the reader should iremember that his 
entries were meant to be read by no one outside the family. 
Important events would, of course, be recorded in official 

( iii ) 

court journals, of which Nicholas could retain a copy. 

This is only a daily log of the events of the life of 
the Tsar from his abdication to the time of his death. 

These are not memoirs. This is not a political commentary. 

Proper names which may be spelled in several different 
ways in Russian appear here as they appear in the diary. 

All dates given in the diary are according to the Julian 
calendar, which was thirteen days behind the Gregorian in 
the twentieth century. 

I wish to thank Professor Robert T. Turner for his 
inspiration and his steadying hand over the past five 
years. Professor Melvin C. Wren, my mentor, has given me 
much encouragement . I appreciate his kind and under- 
standing guidance. He has spent many hours working with me 
on the thesis, and for this I shall ever be grateful. 

I dedicate this work to my father and mother. Colonel 
Derek William Price, U.S.M.C* (Ret.) and Martha Eleanor 
de Mers Price. 

Kent de Mers Price 



May, 1896 
1897- 1901 




January 9> 1905 

February 5» 1905 

June 6, 1905 
October 12, 1905 

October 17, 1905 

October 20-25, 1905 
Autumn, 19 0 5 


Khodynka catastrophe 

partial strikes in St. Petersburg, 
Moscow, throughout the provinces; 
numerous attempts on the lives of 
ministers, governors and chiefs 
of police; extraordinary measures 
of precaution are taken to guard 
the young Tsar. 

assassination of Sipyagin, 

Minister of the Interior 

assassination of Plehve, 

Minister of the Interior 

disastrous Russo-Japanese War. 

revolutionary agents, ignoring 
the orders forbidding all demon- 
strations, lead St. Petersburg 
workers toward the palace, to 
present a petition to the Tsar. 

The group is led by a police 
agent. Father Gapon. Police 
open fire and kill hundreds and 
wound thousands. "Bloody Sunday." 

assassination of Grand Duke Sergei 
Alexandrovich, Governor- General 
of Moscow; the members of the 
imperial family are asked by the 
police not to attend the funeral 
because the city is infested with 
terrorists . 

mutiny in the Black Sea Fleet. 

declaration of the general strike 
by the St. Petersburg Soviet. 

the Grand Duke Nicholas and Count 
Witte persuade the Tsar to issue 
a manifesto convoking a Duma. 

Jewish pogroms 

extraordinary measures have been 
taken to assure the unhindered 

December 1905 

April 27, 1906 
Spring and summer, 

August 12, 1906 

Winter, 1906-1907 

June 3, 1907 
Autumn, 19 0 7 



return of the army from the 
Japanese front and to protect the 
safety of the Trans-Siberian 
Railroad from the revolutionaries. 

the revolt in Moscow assumes 
tremendous proportions. The 
Semenovsky Regiment of the Guards 
is sent from St. Petersburg to 
restore order. 

the opening of the first Duma. 

1906 the Tsar dissolves the first Duma. 
Several hundred parliamentarians 
refuse to be dissolved and issue 
a proclamation from Vyborg calling 
for the population to stop paying 
taxes. Stolypin appointed 
President of the Council of 
Ministers, inaugurates an orga- 
nized offensive against the 
revolutionaries . 

the explosion of a bomb planted 
by the revolutionaries in 
Stolypin' s summer house wounds 
his children, but he escapes 

an epidemic of robberies, 
organized by the revolutionaries 
to bolster their treasuries. 
Necessary to proclaim partial law 
in most of the larger cities. 

Nicholas dissolves the Second 

the new election laws are put into 
effect which gives larger repre- 
sentation to the agricultural 
elements of the nation which the 
government hopes will make it 
more conservative. 

the measures taken by Stolypin 
restore order and the industries 
and banks begin to flourish. 
Stolypin is preparing a new law 
which will increase the land 


September 14, 1911 

July 30, 1914 


February, 1917 
March, 1917 

holdings of the peasants and do 
away with the community property 
of the villages. 

Stolypin is assassinated in Kiev. 

the government is headed by 
Kokovtsev, a colorless bureau- 
crat, incapable of constructive 
ideas . 

Sazonof and the Grand Duke 
Nicholas advise the Tsar to sign 
the order for a General Mobili- 

the revolutionaries dominate the 
"auxiliary organizations of the 
front" and lead a hidden 
propaganda campaign against the 
"influence of Rasputin." 

strikes break out in St. Petersburg. 

Nicholas abdicates. 




Preface ii 

Major Events in the Reign of Nicholas II iv 

A Character Sketch of Nicholas II 1 

Nicholas and his Father 2 

Nicholas and his Mother 7 

The Education of Nicholas 10 

Nicholas* s Personal Charm 17 

Nicholas and Religion 21 

Nicholas* s Weak Will 27 

Nicholas and Alexandra 3^ 

Life at Tsarskoe Selo ^7 

The Abdication 57 

The Diary 59 

Epilogue 23^ 


This work is neither an apology for nor a condemna- 
tion of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Imperial Russia. 

It is rather a review of the man, his character, daily 
life, personal habits, education and relations with 
other people as he revealed himself in his diary after 
his abdication. This introductory chapter seeks to 
provide a background to the diary. 

Nicholas was born on May 18, 1868, in a palace at 
Tsarskoe Selo, not far from St. Petersburg. An Ignorant 
nurse and a negligent physician were responsible for 
his becoming the Heir Apparent. They overlooked an 
illness in his elder brother, Alexander, and the Infant 
succumbed to an otherwise simple infirmity. Thus, 
Nicholas, like his father, became Heir Apparent by 
accident. 1 Members of the Romanov family had often died 
at an early age. The eldest brother of Alexander III 
and two of his cousins died when they were young. Grand 
Duke George, Nicholas* s younger brother, died of tuber- 
culosis at the age of nineteen. Nicholas was never in 
good health as a child, and he spent a great deal of his 
time exercising to strengthen his body. While Alexander 
III was a physical giant, Nicholas was weak. 

1 Grand Duke Alexander, Once a Grand Duke . (New York, 
1932), 165. 

( 2 ) 


Nicholas grew up in Gatchina, one of the palaces at 
Tsarskoe Selo. The private apartments of the Imperial 
family did not have the lofty and airy rooms like those 
in the State apartments, but had ceilings so low than one 
felt he could touch them with his hands. The apartment 
was dark with the sun rarely filtering in through the 
small windows and was inexpensively furnished. 

Alexander III did not approve of spare bedrooms, 
private dressing rooms and baths, nor did he like modern 
extravagances. His own study was a nearly bare room, 
poorly furnished like the rest of the house. The palace 
reflected the tastes and habits of a simple man who did 
not like to live in the usual monarchical style. 
Alexanders favorite costtime at home was a soldier* s 


uniform, which he would wear until threadbare. 

Family life was simple and secluded. Physicians 
prescribed plenty of exercise for Alexander and the 
entire family participated with their father. Building 
snow houses, chopping wood and shoveling snow entertained 
the family during the winter months, while riding, 
hiking, tennis and planting trees occupied them during 
the warmer months. Conversations dealt upon family 
happenings, but never a word about politics. While at 

^Poliakoff, V., Empress Marie and Her Times . (London, 

1926 ) , (Hereafter cited as Marie ). 177-178. 


home the Tsar would not be bothered with the affairs of 

Alexander and Marie had five surviving children, 
Nicholas born in 1868, George in 1871, Xenia in 18 75, 
Michael in 1878 and Olga in 1882.^ 

The Imperial family respected and feared Alexander 
III, who ruled the household as a veritable patriarch. 

^Alexander, I 66 -I 67 . 

^George died in the Crimea in I899. He suffered a 
tubercular hemorrhage while riding a motorcycle and 
died in the arms of a peasant woman who did not know 
his Identity. George had some strong opinions about 
his brother* s capabilities to be Tsar. In February of 
1892, Grand Duke Alexander, the cousin and brother-in- 
law of Nicholas, visited George, who by this time had 
tuberculosis and was taking a cure at Abbas-Tuman in 
the Crimea, and their discussion turned to Nicholas. 

"We never stopped talking, reminiscing over the days 
of childhood, trying to guess the future of Russia and 
discussing the character of Nicky. We both hoped that 
his father would reign for many years. We both feared 
that Nicky* s total unpreparedness would handicap him 
stupendously should he ascend the throne in the near 
future." Alexander, 120. 

Xenia married her cousin Grand Duke Alexander 
and was able to escape the Bolsheviks. 

Michael — nicknamed "Misha" — was the favorite of 
his father, and the only one who did not fear him. 

He loved to pull pranks and was constantly the topic 
of the family discussions. He and Nicholas were quite 
close, but later trouble was to separate the two. 
Michael, who was as weak willed in many ways as his 
brother, fell in love with a twice-divorced commoner 
and married her. Nicholas exiled Michael and he thus 
remained detached from Russia until the War began, and 
only then was he permitted to return. He was killed by 
the Bolsheviks in early July, 1918. 

Olga married Prince Peter of Oldenburg (Russian 
line) whom she divorced in 1916 to marry Colonel 
Kulikowsky. She escaped the Bolsheviks. 


He felt that the Imperial family should set the moral 

example for all of Russia in their private as well as 

in their public lives. Alexander led an impeccable 

life, at least after his marriage? and he expected 

the same from the rest of the family. A typical father 

in the Victorian sense, he raised his family to respect 

and fear God. He was a stern taskmaster and his children, 

with the exception of Michael, were uneasy and constrained 

in his presence.^ The Emperor insisted upon punctuality 

from his family. His military training had drilled 

respect into him for a fixed schedule. He, in turn, 

imparted this to his children. Their lives were run on 

a fixed timetable. Alexander planned family life well 

in advance and detested any deviation from this plan. 

The family spent most of the year at Gatchina. Then 

every year on the same date they moved to the seaside 

at Peterhof to spend the summer. Prom here they took 

a cruise to the coast of Finland. In the autumn they 

stayed at ‘Ll-vadia in the Crimea, or journeyed to 


Copenhagen to visit the parents of Marie. Life did 
not vary or change from this pattern set by Alexander. 
Nicholas, as with most people who knew the Tsar, 

^Yarmolinsky , A., ed. , The Memoirs of Count Witte . 

(New York. 1921), 40. 

^Poliakoff , Marie . 186-188. 

( 5 ) 

fell under the influence and domination of the old 
Emperor. His father never took him into his confidence 
but expected him to accept his decrees and views, with a 
feeling similar to reverence. 7 later when he became Tsar 
his father* s influence was always present. He would ask 
himself the questions; what would father do in this 
instance, how would he have acted in this case, or if 
I were father how should I act? When Nicholas attained 
manhood, he still stood in awe of his overpowering 
father. He always approached him with humble respect, 
never forgetting that his father was the Tsar. He told 
a story which illustrated this strange relationship 
between father and son. One day, when Nicholas had 
Joined the Hussars, he was carrying out the duties of 
an orderly at Gatchina. Being quite tired, he decided to 
go to his room and rest. Unhooking the collar of his 
uniform and taking off his boots, he began to doze when 
he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and, as 

he later reported: "The Emperor was standing near my 


bed. " Note that Nicholas used the word "Emperor" instead 
of the usual expression of "Papa." 

Alexander personified the idea of autocracy and 
governed Russia with an iron grip for thirteen years. 

His advisors were reactionaries who helped him formulate 

7 Ibid . , 238 
S lbid . . 1?8 

( 6 ) 

policies which made him the pillar of autocracy. After 
his death, Nicholas retained these advisors out of 
respect for the memory of his father. They did every- 
thing they could to preserve the young Tsar*s respect 
for what they called "the traditions bequeathed by the 
Tsar Pacificator."^ Any attempt on the part of Nicholas 
to free himself from their influence was quickly stifled 
by reference to the memory of his dead father.. Thus 
Nicholas ruled Russia in the early years of his reign 
in the shade of his father* s ghost. 

To the time of his death, Alexander always treated 
his son as a child. When Witte asked Alexander to make 
Nicholas the chairman of the committee for the construction 
"7 of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Alexander replied; "Do 
you know what you are asking? The Tsarevlch is still a 
boy, and his judgments are those of a perfect child. 

This happened two years before Nicholas became Tsar. 

On October 17 * 1888, Alexander saved the lives of 
his children and relatives by holding on his shoulders 
the roof of the wrecked dining car in which they had 
been riding when revolutionaries derailed the Imperial 
train. Alexander shrugged off the feat which the entire 

^Iswolsky, A. , Recollections of a Foreign Minister . 

(Garden City, N.Y. , 1921), 262. 
l°Radziwill, C., The Intimate Life of the last Czarina , 

(New York, 192871 (Herbafter referred to as Intimate ). 


nation applauded, but his body did not. Six years 
later the strain which had been placed on his kidneys 
took its toll. Alexander died, as he lived, a tower of 
strength to his family and the nation. On that gloomy 
day, October 20, 189^, no one felt the loss as much as did 
Nicholas. Grand Duke Alexander described Nicholas* s 

For the first and last time in my life I saw 
tears in his blue eyes. He took me by the arm and 
led me downstairs into his rooms. We embraced and 
cried together. He cotild not collect his thoughts. 
He knew he was Emperor now, and the weight of this 
terrifying fact crushed him. 

"Sandro, what am I going to do, what is going 
to happen to me, to you, to Xenia, to Alix, to 
mother, to Russia? fl know nothing of the business 
of ruling. I have no idea of even how-to talk to 
ministers.^] Will you help me, Sandro?" 11 

Nicholas had been a devoted and admiring son and 
he was determined to follow in the footsteps of his 
father. He had assimilated the autocratic doctrines 
which his father had bequeathed to him, and he felt 
bound to preserve that heritage intact. The representa- 
tives of the Zemstvos were told to dismiss from their 
minds the "senseless dreams" of representative govern- 
ment, for it was his firm intention to continue the 


autocratic policies of his beloved father. 


Marie Fedorovna loved her husband and accepted his 
way of life, although she appeared to have suffered from 

•^Alexander, 168-169. 

•^Buchanan, G. , My Mission to Russia , (Boston, I 923 ), 

II. 78-79 . 


the pent-up atmosphere of Gatchina. Marie smoothed 
life at home and played the part of trying to maintain 
a healthy atmosphere between Alexander and his children. 
Alexander was not an easy man to get along with* for he 
had a quick temper and did not like to be contradicted. 
Marie was able to soften his temper and to stop his use 
of the terrific strength which made him so dangerous. 

As a youth he had twisted horse shoes with ease, and it 
was said that he could bend silver coins between his 
fingers. Afraid of their father, the children would see 
Marie about their wishes, who would then talk to her 

Marie had a playroom for her children in which she 

spent a great deal of time. At one end was a complete 

gymnasium. Placed along each wall were two wooden 

mountains with a trolley on which the children could 

slide. There were toy trains, doll houses, rocking 

horses, merry-go-rounds, kitchens equipped with real 

appliances, menageries with all types of animals, toy 


soldiers and great fortresses of wood and cardboard. v 
Marie spoiled her children and felt no remorse. 

Nicholas felt closer to his mother than to his 
father, and she held a great deal of influence over him. 
She constantly suggested what he should do, and Nicholas 

^Poliakoff, Marie . 177-181 


did not appear to mind. In a letter dated June 25 , I 887 , 
he wrote from Krasnoe Selo: “I will always try to follow 

your advice, my dearest darling Hama. One has to be 
cautious with everybody at the start." 1 * 1 ' 

Marie had certain dislikes which she implanted in 
the mind of her son at an early age. One of her 
bitterest hatreds was that of the Germans. Marie had 
hated them from early childhood for their cruel behavior 
toward her father. Alexander III strengthened this 
feeling in the mind of his boy by also disliking them. 
Imbued with the ideas of Pobiedonostsev and the 
Slavophiles, he aspired to free Russia entirely from 
German influence. Nicholas grew up to distrust Kaiser 
William II, and traces of this attitude appear in his 
diary. The entry for August 30, 1895 notes: "I 

received the German Emperor* s aide-de-camp, Moltke. 


He brought me a letter and an engraving from that bore, 
Herr Wilhelm. On October 24, 1895 » he wrote: "After 

tea, I labored composing an answer to William. What 
an obnoxious occupation, when there are so many other 


Nicholas and Marie, Bing, E. , ed. , The Letters of Tsar 

Nicholas and Empress Marie , (London, 1937)* (hereafter 
cited as Letters ). 14. 

^Thls engraving is the famous picture of the Yellow Peril 

■^Pierre, A., ed., Journal Intlme de Nicholas II , (Paris, 
1925), (hereafter cited as Journal Intlme ). 134. 

( 10 ) 


things and more important to be done." On July 23, 
1897* Nicholas wrote to his mother: 

Dear Mama, I’m sorry to tell you we shall 
have to give Wilhelm the rank of Admiral in our 
Navy. Uncle Alexei reminded me of it; and I 
think, no Blatter how disagreeable it may be, 
we are obligated to let him wear our naval 
uniform; particularly since he made me last 
year a Captain in his own navy, and, what’s 
worse. I’ll have to greet him as such at 
Kronstadt . 28 

It makes me sick to think of it I 

After the death of Alexander, Marie remained 
influential in her son’s decisions. When Nicholas 
married, Marie maintained her dominant role, until the 
birth of a son in 1904, which weakened her hand. With 
the advent of Basputin, to whom Marie was violently 
opposed, the relationship between mother and son cooled 
until the war, when he needed her for comfort. 


Possessed of many gifts which would have suited him 
to play the role of a constitutional monarch, Nicholas 
did not receive the training required to take over one 
of the most unmitigated autocracies in Europe. 

severe lack of higher education and exposure to intellectual 


He was 

^ Ibid . . 134 . 

^ Letters . 18. 

19 lswolsky . 257 * 

contacts counteracted his natural intelligence.^ 

( 11 ) 

not stupid, butjjie had neither the ambition nor the 
desire to acquire knowledge^ He spent his childhood 
in the gloomy palace where his father elected to seek 
refuge from assassins, and, as far as contact with 
real Russian life was concerned, the children grew up 
in a vacuum. (^Nicholas never understood the Russian 
society from which he also elected to isolate himself 

His cousin Alexander identified the teachers of the 
tsarevich as “a simple-minded Russian general, a senti- 
mental Swiss tutor, and a young Englishman who was 
extremely fond of outdoor life." He goes on to say: 
"None of the three had the remotest idea of the task 

facing the future Tsar of Russia. They taught him all 


they knew, which proved to be little." Pobiedonostsev, 

his father* s tutor, attempted to teach him craft, and 

from him Nicholas learned about Autocracy, Orthodoxy 

and Nationalism. His education focused upon the 

military, which he really enjoyed, and he received the 

training of a cavalry lieutenant in one of the regiments 


of the Imperial Guards. 

Heath, an Englishman, instructed the young boy 
English and taught him to keep physically fit. The 

20 Poliakoff, V. , Tragic Bride, (New York, 1928), (here- 
after cited as Tragic Bride ), 181-182. 

^Alexander , 165 . 

22 Iswolsky, 257. * 

( 12 ) 

instructor did well in both, although he did not possess 


a college education. 

When Nicholas was fifteen, he received General 

Danilovich as a tutor in the social graces and basic 

military discipline. Danilovich was a commoner and a 

nonentity. In effect, the Tsarevich*s education ended 
at the age of fifteen, although ostensibly it continued 
for another few years. His teachers had been able to give 
him a fluency in French and English, a rudimentary know- 
ledge of secondary school subjects and a grasp of social 
etiquette. But all this was no preparation for the 
hard task of governing the Russian Empire in the twentieth 

From Constantine Pobiedonostsev Nicholas learned the 

supposed art of governing. Pobiedonostsev had also been 

the tutor of Alexander III and was a philosopher of 

reaction. Born in 1827 * He spent his entire life reacting 

against the evils of the French Revolution of 1789. He 

detested rationalism, progress, liberalism, personal 

liberties, constitutions and popular sovereignty, "the 

erroneous principle that. . .all power comes from the 
2 5 

people." As to the changes which were taking place in 
Western Europe, he felt that they would never work in 

2 3lswolsky, 258 - 259 . ~ — 

2 ^Poliakoff, Tragic Bride , JQ, 

2 5Taylor, E. , The Fall of the Dynasties . (Garden City, 

N.Y., 1963 ). 59. 

( 13 ) 

Imperial Russia. Pobiedonostsev felt that the Tsar was 
anointed by God to be the supreme commander of the 
Russian forces, guardian of the Russian Orthodox Church 
and the all-powerful ruler of the Empire. He received 
his power from God and he was responsible only to God, 
Peter the Great was the example which the young Tsar was 
told to copy. He instilled in his young charge* s mind the 
Great-Russian racism expressed in the Slavophile movement. 
He taught Nicholas to feel that the Great-Russian was 
the dominant native stock of the Empire and that all 
others were inferior, even if they were pure Slavic in 
origin. Pobiedonostsev taught Nicholas to consider 
Russia as the third Rome and to consider the need of 
expanding the Russian Empire so that it extended from the 
Balkans to the China Sea. 

At the end of his formal education and on the eve 
of receiving his commission in the Hussar Guards, Nicholas 
had a fluent command of English, a similar command of 
German and French, and a misguided idea of how the 
Empire should be run. ^Now he moved from the tedious work 
of the classroom to his military education. He developed 
an immense fondness for military service, for it appealed 
to his passive nature. Orders were given and carried out. 
There were no questions and no worries, for the problems 
would be handled by one*s superiors. He began his 

^Alexander, 1 65. 

( 14 ) 

training as squadron commander in a regiment of the 

Hussar Guards. He spent two years in the First Horse 

Battery and with his father* s death he had risen to the 

rank of colonel, commanding the Preobrazhensky Regiment. 

He kept this rank for the rest of his life. It reminded 

him of the carefree days of his youth when everything was 

so simple. 

His shyness, which made him appear modest, made him 
popular with his fellow officers. He participated in all 
their frolics, drinking, singing the latest French songs, 
discussing horses and keeping company with the ballerinas. 
But this training, although enjoyable for him, did not 


prepare him in any manner for the job of Tsar. He gave 
little or no attention to this matter and enjoyed the 
best years of his life. 

His father did not introduce Nicholas into the 
operations of the government, for the physical strength 
of Alexander precluded any sudden change in reign. 
Although he did attend the Imperial Council meetings 
twice a week, they always bored him. Being shy and 
reserved, his presence at the meetings was not felt and 
no one bothered with him. He was treated as a child by 
his parents and friends, and to the day of his father* s 
death he was simply charming, sports-loving "Nicky. 

2 ? Ibld .. 166. 



When Alexander III died his heir was a complete stranger 

to the political life of the country. ^ 

In 1890, the Emperor sent young Nicholas on a 

voyage around the world. Ostensibly the journey was to 

complete his education; but actually it was to separate 


him from the ballerina Krzesinska, to whom he had grown 


attached and by whom he had fathered two sons. He did 
not enjoy his trip, traveling on a Russian battleship. 

He met his cousin Alexander on the Island of Ceylon and 
expressed his dislike for the trip in the following 
words. "My trip is senseless, palaces and generals are 
the same all the world over, and that*s all I am permitted 
to see. I could just as well have stayed at home. "32 
His brother George went as far as India but was forced to 
return when his case of tuberculosis was discovered. 

Prince George of Greece, another cousin, also accompanied 
him on the trip. 

On May 11, while riding in a jinrikisha in a street 
2 ^Iswolsky, 260. 

^Although the trip was successful in separating the two, 
Nicholas took care of her. - He gave her a palace across 
the River Neva from the American Embassy and put her in 
charge of the Imperial Ballet. Reeves, P. , Russia from 
the American Embassy , (New York, 1921), 18. 


Badziwill, C., Confessions of the last Czarina (New 
York, 1918), (hereafter cited as Confessions ). 8. 

•^Alexander, 167-168. 

( 16 ) 

procession, one of the constables, Tsuda Sanzo, ran out 
into the street and swung at Nicholas with his samurai 
sword. The blow was aimed at the back of his neck, but 
Nicholas was able to duck before the blade landed. Al- 
though his grey bowler hat broke the impact, the weapon 
inflicted two wounds. Nicholas jumped out of the 
jinrikisha and ran down the street with Tsuda Sanzo in 
chase. One of the jinrikisha men tackled the assailant 
while another picked up Tsuda* s sword and began to strike 

him with it. Prince George used his bamboo cane on the 


man, while Nicholas hovered in a corner. 

Doctors dressed the wounds, which were only minor. 

Located on the crown of the head, the wounds formed a 

sign of the cross. Covered completely by his hair it 


could not be seen. 

Nicholas had never been fond of the Japanese, "the 
yellow peril," and with this incident, his feelings did 
not change. Nicholas cut short the rest of the journey 
and traveled to Vladivostok to lay the first stone in 
the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Hallway. 

Nicholas returned to Gatchina and to his duties 
as a young officer. He attended an occasional meeting 
of the Imperial Council, content in the presence of his 
powerful father, who, he felt, was there to protect him. 

■^Lensen, G. , "The Attempt on the Life of Nicholas II 
in Japan," The Russian Review , vol. XX, no. 3»(July, 
1961), 238-239. 

^ Ibid . . 2^0. 



A slender youth, five feet seven inches, Nicholas had 
brown hair and blue eyes. At about the age of twenty- two 
he grew a beard in the style of the day. He had sim- 
plicity in his bearing, yet some say that he appeared 
regal in the eyes of his subjects. Because of his height, 
he had been advised to appear on horseback when making 
public appearances. He always appeared in a military 
uniform. He had a sweet expression in his clear blue 
eyes, which Iswolsky compared to those of a gazelle. 

The years took no toll of Nicholas until the war. 

The American ambassador Reeves was impressed on first 
appearance by his poise and his apparent excellent 


physical condition. After twenty years on the throne, 

Nicholas appeared young and alert. He kept in excellent 

physical shape by taking vigorous exercise. A strong 

walker and an indefatigable rower and tennis player, 

Nicholas had not lost the ability to enjoy life to the 

fullest. He romped with his children as if he belonged 

to their age group. However, time had not added to his 

intellectual powers but had simply given him a working 


knowledge of the government. Age began to tell with 
the outbreak of the war. His face began to line, he lost 

^Iswolsky, 256 . 

•^Reeves, 49. 

-^Poliakof f , Tragic Bride , 193 • 

( 18 ) 

weight, his hair began to fall and turn grey. His eyes 
lost their boyish appeal and instead his expression became 
grave and distant. 

Those who met Nicholas almost unanimously referred 

to his charm. He could put his guests at ease and make 

them feel as if they were talking to a friend rather 


than the Emperor. He did his utmost to be liked. 

Nicholas was polite, exasperatingly so. His 
politeness often got him into trouble, for he did not 
like to offend anyone. He preferred to let others have 
their way rather than openly hurt them. On July 11, 

1905, Nicholas invited William II, the German Emperor, 
aboard the imperial yacht anchored off Bjoerke in 
Finland. When William arrived aboard the Polar Star , 
he decided to combine business with pleasure. He 
brought with him a detailed plan for a Russo-German 
alliance. Nicholas showed interest, but insisted that he 
had to show the treaty to his foreign minister, Iswolsky. 
But when William insisted, Nicholas decided to sign 
rather than to insult his guest with rudeness. Calling 
in the captain of the ship, Nicholas asked him to witness 
the signing of the treaty but not to read it. Later 

3®Paleologue, M. , An Ambassador* s Memoirs , (London, 1925), 
II, 15-16. 

-^Buchanan, i # 170; Botkin, G. , The Real Romanovs , 

(London, 1931)» 19; Iswolsky, 256 ; Reeves, 4-9. 


when Nicholas returned to Tsarskoe Selo and William to 
Berlin, he instructed Iswolsky to inform William that the 
Russians would be unable to live up to the Treaty of 
July 11, 19 05 . 40 

Not everyone was captivated by Nicholas* s charm. 

Count Witte, although he admitted that Nicholas did 
possess a good amount of personal charm, did not like 
Nicholas and did not try to hicfe his disdain. Witte 
discussed the reluctance of Nicholas to talk about 
anything unpleasant : 

•Our Tsar is an Oriental, a hundred per cent 
Byzantine. We talked for two solid hours. He 
shook my hand. He embraced me. He wished me 
all the luck in the world. I returned home 
beside myself with happiness and found a written 
order for my dismissal lying on the desk. [Witte 
had just been dismissed from the post of President 
of the Council of Ministers .3 

Witte felt that Nicholas "is incapable of playing fair 

and he always seeks underhand means and underground ways. 


He has a veritable passion for secret notes and methods." ^ 

Witte did not feel that Nicholas had the manly attributes 

which many had seen in him. "The Emperor* s character 


may be said to be essentially feminine." On this score 
Bernard Pares agreed with Witte by saying: "he had a 

remarkable personal charm, proceeding from an almost 

^Alexander, 179* 

211 Ibid . , 178-179. 

^ 2 Witte, 183 . 

^3 ibid . . 182. 

( 20 ) 


feminine delicacy." Witte felt Nicholas*s outstanding 

weakness to be his lack of any will power, and that this 

disqualified him from being effective as Tsar.^ 

Paleologue believed Nicholas to be dedicated in 

the service of his people and his nation. He was often 

heard saying, "I like nothing better than to feel myself 


in touch with my people." But Witte denied that Nicholas 

had any care for what his people felt. Witte reported 

that Nicholas once angrily snapped: "What have I got 

to do with public opinion?" He felt that public opinion 

was the opinion of the intelligentsia. While dining one 

night, someone referred to the intelligentsia. Nicholas 

heard the word and muttered: "How I detest that word! 

I wish I could order the academy to strike it off the 


Bussian dictionary." Count Witte* s dislike for Nicholas 
apparently stemmed from his dismissal after a life‘s 
work in public service. 

Nicholas did not like Witte, and had retired him 
after the conclusion of the Treaty of Portsmouth of 
1905. He advised Witte to take a prolonged vacation 
outside of Bussia. To his mother Nicholas wrote 
early in November, 1906 : 

^Pares, B. , My Bussian Memoirs , (London, 1931) » 236-237* 
^Witte, 181. 



Paleologue, II, 19. 

Witte, 189-190. 

( 21 ) 

To my great regret Count Witte has returned from 
abroad. It would have been more sensible of him 
and convenient for me if he had stayed away. As 
soon as he was back a peculiar atmosphere full of 
all sorts of rumours and gossip and insinuations 
began to form around him. Some of the wretched 
papers are already beginning to say he is coming 
back to power, and that only he can save the 
country. ..As long as I live, I will never trust 
that man again with the smallest thing. I had 
quite enough of last year*s experiment. It is 
still a nightmare to me (There Nicholas is referring 
to the October Manifesto which Witte advised him 
to accept J . o 

Thank God I have not seen him yet!^ a 

Paleologue, the French ambassador, lunched with Nicholas 
on March 13 , 1915* and they talked of Count Witte* s 
death from a cerebral tumor. 

"And we haven* t said a word about poor 
Count Witte! I hope his death hasn*t distressed 
you too much Ambassador! " 

11 No indeed. Sire! When I reported his 
death to my Government my funeral oration 
over him was confined to the words: With 

him a great hotbed of intrigue has gone!” 

“But that*s exactly what I think! Listen 
gentlemen. M 

"Count Witte* s death has been a great 
relief to me. I also regard it as a sign 
from God." 49 

In these words, Nicholas eulogized a man who had served 
both his father and himself. 


Alexander III maintained a very religious household. 
Marie Feodorovna embraced the faith of her husband and 
zealously raised her children in the Orthodox Church. 

Letters . 221. 

^Paleologue, I, 302-303* 

As with everything at Gatchina, religious duties were 
carried out punctually. 

Nicholas developed a deep and sincere faith. He 
believed that his fate was in the hands of God and 
nothing could change it. He viewed the future with 
humility and in calm confidence that God controlled 
his destiny. 

Upon entering married life, both Nicholas and his 
wife , who had converted from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy, 
observed with extreme punctuality the rites of the Russian 
Orthodox Church. During Lent no meat appeared on the 
Imperial table. On all religious days and on Sundays the 
entire family attended all the services celebrated in 
the chapel in the palace. '^Nicholas expressed his religious 
views in a letter to his mother: 

What a joy it is to us, dear Mama, to prepare 
for Holy Communion here in the Kremlin, with all 
its various churches and chapels in the Palaces. 

We spent the best part of the day visiting them 
and deciding which church we shall attend for 
Morning Service or Mass or Evensong. We also 
read a good deal of history about "The Times of 
Moscow." I never knew I was able to reach such 
heights of religious ecstacy as this Lent has 
brought me to. The feeling is now much stronger 
than it was in I 896 , which is only natural. 51 

However, stemming from this firm belief, Nicholas 
became a fatalist. He would accept anything which God 
might send. God controlled his existence and nothing 

50yiroubova, A., Memories of the Russian Court . (New 
York, 1923), 102. 

■^ Letters . 1^3-1^. 


he could, do would change e vent s.^ 2 0f ten accused of 

indifference, this was the key to his total resignation 

to his fate. When deciding to sign the October Manifesto 

granting Russia a Duma, Nicholas wrote to his mother: 

From all over Russia they cried for it, they begged 

for it, and around me many very many held the 

same views. I had nobody to rely on except honest 
Trepov. There was no other way out than to cross 
oneself and give what everybody was asking for. 

My only consolation is that such is the will of 
God, and this grave decision will lead my dear 
Russia out of the intolerable chaos she has been 
in for nearly a year. 53 

Not only was Nicholas prone to fatalism, but he was 

extremely superstitious and susceptible to mystics. 

A firm believer in God, nevertheless, he was taken with 

mysticism as were many of the court society in the latter 

part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. An 

incident occured during his coronation which produced a 

profound effect upon him. As Nicholas approached the 

altar wearing the Imperial mantle, the collar of the 

Order of St. Andrew fell from his neck and landed at his 

feet. He regarded this as a divine warning of terrible 

5 ^ 

events in the future. Nicholas* s mysticism, although not 
as strong as that of his wife, was very pronounced. His 
total attachment to his father may, in part, explain this 
strange behavior. 

5 ^Buchanan , II , 89 . 

^ Letters , 188. 

^Buchanan, II, 79. 


In 1900, a magician, Papus, came to St. Petersburg 
and established a following in court circles. In the 
following years, he was often seen with his good friend 
Dr. Phillips, a fellow Frenchman. Papus enjoyed the 
complete confidence of both the Tsar and his wife. 

During the troubled months of the Russo-Japanese War 
and the Revolution of 1905* Nicholas felt he needed 
spiritual help, but not the type one received in a church. 
Papus answered a call from Tsarskce Selo and, after a talk 
with him, Nicholas arranged a seance for the next day. 

The seance was attended by both the Tsar and his wife. 

By an amazing amount of concentration and a great deal of 
"fluid dynamism," the "Spiritual Master succeeded in 
calling up the spirit of the most pious Tsar Alexander 
III. "^Nicholas asked the spirit of his father for guidance 
and if he should give in to the demands of the revolu- 
tionaries. The spirit replied: 

At any cost you must crush the revolution 
now beginning; but it will spring up again and 
its violence will be proportionate to the severity 
with which it is put down today. But what does 
it matter! Be brave my son! Do not give up the 
struggle! 56 

After the Tsar and his wife heard this horrifying news, 
Papus informed them that he could prevent the catastrophe 
to which the ghost of Alexander had referred. He created 

•5-5paleologue, III, 97 . 

5 6 Ibid .. 98 . 


a spell which he put on both Nicholas and Alexandra and 

told them the spell would be good only as long as he 


lived. Papus died on October 27 » 1916. 

This strange combination of fatalism and mysticism 
exemplified itself in the person of Gregory Rasputin 
at Tsarskoe Selo. The Tsar first met the "man of God'* 
on November 1, 1904, during the hectic days of the 
Russo-Japanese War, and he soon became a favorite with 
the Imperial couple. He addressed them with a crude 
familiarity which appeared not to offend them. They 
felt he was a true representative of the Russian 
peasantry and delighted in his peasant tales. He 
impressed them with his apparent stern religious 
convictions and felt that this "man of God" was a 
successor to their friend Phillips. The source of 
Rasputin* s power lay in the Empress* s belief that he 
could save their hemophaelic son. Rasputin seemed to 
have the ability to arrest the flow of blood from the 

£ Q 

boy*s wounds. As she convinced herself that Rasputin 
was a man of God and that he could save her son, the 
"mad monk" became a familiar sight at Tsarskoe Selo. 

Rasputin soon developed into a dominant force at 
court. To the Imperial couple he was a true representative 

5? Ibid . . 99 . 

■^^Poliakoff , Tragic Bride , 139. The standard work on 
Rasputin is; Fulop-Miller, R., Rasputin , the Holy 
Devil . (New York, 1928). " ™ 


of the Russian people. Neither Nicholas nor his wife 

could abide court life or courtiers. They felt a strange 

affinity with the common folk and delighted in talking 

to them whenever the occasion arose. In Rasputin they 

saw the true Russian. To them he became the voice of 

the people, and they listened to what he said with 

fascination and reverence. 

The hol^y man never captivated Nicholas as he did 

the Tsaritsa, but the Tsar followed her wishes. When 

Alexandra gave him one of Rasputin* s combs to use before 

he attended a Council of Ministers meeting, he used it, 

to feel the power of Rasputin in his decisions. When 

Alexandra sent him crumbs of bread from which Rasputin 


had eaten, he ate them. ' 

By the end of the reign, Nicholas felt totally 
helpless to face the ever-changing situation and put all 
his faith in God. He felt helpless to struggle against 
destiny and resigned himself to the fates.^ 0 

Imbued with a tremendous amount of religious 
conviction and his rigorous Salvophile training from 
Pobledonostsev, Nicholas became a bigoted man. The 
Emperor was surrounded by avowed Jew- haters such as 

59chernavin, T., "The Home of the last Tsar," Slavonic 
and East European Review , vol. LI, (April, 1939)* 666. 

^°Youssoupov, F., Lost Splendor , (New York, 195*0 » 260. 


Trepov, Plehve, Ignatyev and the leaders of the Black 
Hundreds. Nicholas hated the Jews, as he felt they 
were anti-Christ. All his enemies were lumped into one 
group, Jews. At the time of the Russo-Japanese War, 
Nicholas became upset with the British attitude toward 
the Japanese. The Japanese he referred to as macacoes 
(monkeys), even using this expression in official 
documents. The English were referred to simply as Jews. 
He often said at this time, “An Englishman is a zhid 
(Jew).'* 61 


Being a weak-willed and vascillating man, Nicholas 
lacked the basic requirement for leadership — self- 
confidence. Essentially a passive and reflective monarch, 
he let others influence him. Modest and timid, he fell 
under the spell of strong men and then resented them 
for their strength. Count Kokovtsov told the French 
Ambassador a story which illustrated this point: 

He {jthe Tsar] received me most kindly: 

"I'm very pleased with you, Vladimir Nicholaievich, " 
he said with a friendly 'smile. "I know you've 
gathered good men around you and are working in 
the right spirit. I feel that you won't treat me 
as your predecessor, Peter Arkadievich, did! 

Speaking personally, Stolypin was not a friend 
of mine : there was plenty of mutual respect , 

but little sympathy between us." But I couldn't 
help answering: "Peter Arkadievich died for Your 

Majesty, Sire!" "He died in my service, true, but 
he was always so anxious to keep me in the back- 
ground. Do you suppose I liked reading in the 


•Witte, 189 

( 28 ) 

papers that the President of the Council had 
done this... the President of the Council has 
done that? Don* t I count? Am I nobody? 11 62 

When he tried to exert his will, he came out with a 

strong statement in the most brutal manner, which 

turned men against him; and he became reluctant to say 


anything at all. 

During the first ten years of his reign, Nicholas 

sat behind a massive desk and listened to the "well- 

rehearsed bellowings of his towering uncles." 0 He did 

not like to be left alone with them, for they constantly 

tried to influence him in one way or the other, and he 

was helpless in the presence of his father* s brothers. 

When advised to dismiss them and act like a Tsar, he 

exclaimed: "Fancy my discharging Uncle Alexis t The 

favorite brother of my father. 

His first impulse was usually correct, but he could 

easily be swayed in another direction, and did not have 


the confidence to stand by his original idea. Being 

extremely reluctant to choose between two conflicting 

ideas, he would sometimes agree to both sides of an 

° 2paleologue , 1 , 298 . 

6 3Badziwill, 215. 

^Alexander, 1?3« 

Mlbld . , 175. 

^ijilliard, P. , Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A 

Personal Record of the last Years and Death of Czar 
Nicholas II and His Family ,TiJew York, n.d.), 205-206. 


argument, simply to escape the unpleasantness of ill- 

feelings. 8 ?The last one talking to him could often change 

his mind. One can understand why he enjoyed the military 
service, where orders were given and needed only 
execution, not discussion. 

Deciding what his father would have done in a 
particular instance was always on his mind. The Council 
of Ministers discussed policies of his father* s reign, 
for Nicholas felt he could find a key in his father* s 
reaction to certain problems. During the first decade 
of the reign Pobledonostsev presided over these meetings 
and was always anxious to point the young Tsar back in 


the direction of his father* s policies and not forward. 
With no mind of his own, Nicholas tried to rule Russia 
with ideas and policies over thirty years old. 

If Nicholas had been stronger, he might have 
controlled his wife, who instead controlled him. She 
constantly nagged at him to act like the Tsar. She 
recognized his weakness even before they were married 
and insisted that she be allowed to read and write in 
his private diary. On October 15, 1894, she made the 
following entry in his diary: 

Darling boysy, me loves you, oh, so very 

8 ^Reeves, 17-18. 

68 lswolsky, 290 - 291 . 

^Alexander, 1 76 . 


tenderly and deeply. Be firm and make the doctors, 
Leyden or the other G. jYJrubel, come alone to yon 
every day and tell you how they find him Cat this 
time Alexander III was on his death-bed and Alexandra 
had just arrived in Russia to see her future father- 
in-law before he diedj, and exactly what they wish 
him to do, so that you are the first always to know. 

You can help persuading him then, too, to do what 
is right. And if the Dr. has any wishes or needs 
anything, make him come direct to you. Don*t let 
others be put first and you let out. You are 
Father dear* s own son and must be told all and 
asked about everything. Show your mind and don*t 
let others forget who you are. Forgive me lovy. 70 

As time passed in their married life, the influence of the 
Tsaritsa became even more apparent. Nicholas found him- 
self helplessly under her control. 

Nicholas had the reputation for being indifferent 
to all that went on around him. Having a slow temper, 


his self-control was one of his proud possessions. 

His fatalistic outlook on life may in part explain his 
indiff erence. When he listened to people, it was not 
with a bored look, but one of absolute indifference. 

Prince Serge Volkonski, who for two years directed the 
Imperial theaters and saw him almost every day, said of 
him: "that when talking to him one stood in the presence 

of an empty place. 

He showed indifference at times when ordinary men 
would have cracked under the strain. During his coronation 
at Moscow, a public fete had been planned at Khodinsky, 

7° Journal Intime , 103-104. 
?^Viroubova, 61. 
? 2 Radziwill, Intimate , ix. 


where souvenirs were to be handed out. In respect for 
his father* s memory, the plans of his father *s coronation 
were copied to the last detail. This included the 
preparation of Khodinsky meadow. Inadequate precautions 
were taken, there was a panic and stampede, killing about 
two thousand people. When Nicholas heard of the disaster, 
he did not display the slightest emotion and that night 
attended a ball given in his honor. 

On May 14, 1905» the Japanese destroyed the Baltic 
fleet, commanded by Admiral Rozhestvinsky, at Tsushima Bay. 
The Tsar received the news as he was about to play a set 
of tennis. He read the telegram, said: "What a horrible 

catastrophe I " and asked for his tennis racket.*^ 

He showed the same indifference upon hearing the 
news of the death of Plehve, the Minister of Interior, 
in 1904, and Stolypin, the President of the Council of 
Ministers, in 1911. He appeared indifferent to death 
even in his own family. When Grand Duke Serge, his uncle 
and the governor- general of Moscow, was assassinated in 
1905, Nicholas received the news at the Peterhof Palace, 
as he was about to sit down to a family dinner with a 
royal visitor, young Prince Frederick Leopold of Prussia. 
The Tsaritsa did not appear, for the widow was her sister, 
but Nicholas insisted the dinner continue. Frederick 
Leopold later reported to the German Chancellor von Bulow 

73Bot]cin, 22. 


that Nicholas appeared in good humor and the assassination 

was not discussed. After dinner, Nicholas and his brother- 

in-law, Grand Duke Alexander, "amused themselves by 

trying to push each other off the long, narrow sofa on 

7 A 

which they were sitting." 

A close friend of the family who had known Nicholas 

since childhood told the French ambassador; "Nicholas 


Alexandrovich has no heart." However, Nicholas was very 
devoted to his immediate family and had a fond attachment 
to animals, especially dogs. For many years he had a pet 
collie named Iman. When the dog died he cried all day 
and was inconsolable. After that he kept a fine kennel 
of collies but never picked a special one. ^Nicholas 
was not heartless. He simply accepted indifferently and 
fatalistically everything that happened to himT] 

The Emperor was always very close to his brothers, 
sisters, and the cousins he liked. However, he was 
Tsar and the head of the Imperial family. All the Grand 
Dukes and Duchesses took an oath to obey him, as did 
every official and member of the armed forces. 

His own idea of duty often brought about an apparent 
indifferent display of affections. His younger 
brother. Grand Duke Michael, fell in love with a twice- 

74 Taylor, 64. 

7 ^Paleologue , III, 33” 34 
7 ^Viroubova, 84. 


divorced commoner by the name of Mrs. Wulfert. When 
Michael asked his brother* s permission to marry her, 
Nicholas refused. Nicholas described his feeling to 
his mother in a letter: 

Dearest Mama, Three days ago Misha wrote asking 

my permission to marry. He said too, that he 
cannot wait any longer than the middle of August. 

I will of course never give my consent to 
such a marriage. ...With all my being IDfeel 
that dear Papa would have done the same. 77 

The woman who gained the affections of Michael was 
the wife of one of his fellow officers in the Regiment 
of Cuirassiers. She had been married in 1902 to a Moscow 
lawyer. She divorced him three years later and married 
Captain Wulfert. Through her husband she met Michael 
and became his mistress. A son born to the couple made 
Michael determined that’ he would marry her, but Nicholas 
refused permission. In July, 1913 » the Grand Duke and 
his mistress took up residence in Berchtesgaden, on the 
border of Upper Bavaria and the Tyrol. One morning 
they went to Vienna, where an Orthodox priest married 
them. When Michael returned to Berchtesgaden, he 
informed his brother. Nicholas* s fury knew no end, and 
in an official manifesto he deprived his brother of 
the regency he had conferred upon him at the birth of 
the Tsarevich. Michael was forbidden to reside in 
Russia. He went to London and returned to Russia 

Letters , 213- 21^ 



only when the war started. 'Nicholas described his 
anger to his mother in a letter of November 7, 1912. 

Between him and me everything is now, alas, 
at an end; because he has broken his pledged 
word. How many times he promised of his own free 
will, not because I pressed him, not to marry 
her! What revolts me more than anything else 
is his reference to poor Alexi*s illness which, 
he says, made him speed things up. (jCn the 
event of the Tsarevich*s death, Grand Duke 
Michael would have become heir to the thronef) 

And then the disappointment and sorrow it brings 
to you and all of us and the scandal of it all 
over Russia means absolutely nothing to him. 79 

The relationship between the two brothers was 
never again the same. To many it appeared that Nicholas 
was showing his typical heartlessness or indifference, 
but he was simply carrying out the responsibility he 
felt as head of the family. 


At the age of twenty-six, Nocholas was still a 
carefree bachelor, eh joying the company of ballerinas 
and the stag dinners with his fellow Guards officers. 
However, his f ather* s prolonged illness necessitated a 
marriage for the young Tsarevich. According to Romanov 
traditions, the heir apparent should be married before 
his father* s death to ensure the succession of the 
line. Still considered a boy by both his parents, 

?®Mouchanow, M. , My Empress , (New York, 1918), 135-138; 
Paleologue, II, 172. 

79 Letters, 284. 


hoxrever, the possibility of marriage had never seriously 
been discussed. Whenever a candidate had been mentioned, 
Marie had always found some objection. She did not 
want to lose her son to another woman. Nicholas had some 
serious flirtations, but none of which his parents 

During one of his visits to Germany Nicholas fell 
in love with Princess Margaret of Prussia, the sister of 
William II, and told his parents he would marry no one 
else. Alexander III objected, however, vowing that he 
would not tolerate a Hohenzollern wearing the Russian 
crown. Alexander made the point clear to his dominated 
son, and soon thereafter Nicholas left on his trip around 
the world. William, of course, was slighted and immedi- 
ately married his sister to the Prince of Hesse. Nicholas 

declared to his friends that if he could not marry 


Princess Margaret, he would not marry at all. u 

In I 892 the Grand Duke of Hesse traveled to Russia 
to see his daughter, who had married Grand Duke Serge, 
the brother of Alexander III. His youngest daughter, 
Princess Alix, accompanied him on the trip. Rumors 
floated around St. Petersburg that she was a possible 
candidate, and it was well known that her sister. Grand 
Duchess Elizabeth, favored the plan. Again Marie found 
objection, for she- hated the Germans and would not favor 

®°Radziwill, Confessions , 5- 


one as a daughter-in-law. When presented to Marie, 

Alix did not receive a cordial welcome. St. Petersburg 

society took the cue from their Tsaritsa and pronounced 

Alix "awkward, disagreeable, impolite, and abominably 

dressed. " x People snubbed her and the great ladies of 

the country gave her only token recognition. Stories 

circulated throughout St. Petersburg that young Nicholas 

was not impressed with her, and during a dinner of the 

Hussar Regiment in which Nicholas was a captain, he told 

his comrades he would sooner marry his mistress, 


Krzesinska, than Princess Alix. 

Princess Alix did impress Nicholas and had done so 

for some time. He first met her when she had traveled 

to' Russia to attend the marriage of her sister. On 

December 21, 1891, he confessed to his diary: 

My dream is to marry one day Alix of Hesse. 

I have loved her a long time, but more deeply 
and fervently since the year I 889 , when she spent 
six weeks in St. Petersburg. I have struggled for 
a long time against my feelings, and tried to 
persuade myself that it was an impossible thing, 
but since Eddy [the Duke of ClarenceJ gave up the 
idea of marrying her, or was refused by her, it 
seems to me that the only obstacle standing 
between us is the religious question. There is 
no other one, because I am convinced that she 
shares my feelings. Everything is in God* s hands, 
and, relying on His mercy, I await the future with 
calm and humility. 83 

81 Ibid . . 5 . 

8 2 lbid. , ?. 

8 3Radziwill, Intimate , 8. (This entry is not in the 
edited version of Nicholas’s Diary by Pierre.) 

( 37 ) 

Alix Victoria Helen Louise Beatrice of Hesse was 
born on June 6, 1872, at Darmstadt. She was the youngest 
child of Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and Princess Alice 
Maud Mary of Great Britain, the second daughter of 
Queen Victoria. Her mother died when she was six 
years old, and she spent her youth partly in England 
with her grandmother and partly in Darmstadt. She had 
no friends her own age while growing up and was a sad, 
lonely little girl. Her father felt no concern for the 
education of his daughters, and she received very little 
formal instruction. Although Queen Victoria considered 
her one of her favorite granddaughters, ‘'Granny" was not 
one to lavish affection upon anyone. She grew up in an 
adult *s world with no one really caring about her. 

When Alexander III realized the extent of his 
illness, he decided to send his young son off to England 
to court Alix. Nicholas did not look forward to spending 
a month at Windsor Castle under the constant surveillance 
of the formidable Queen Victoria, but he was overjoyed 
at the prospect of spending time with Alix. He traveled 
from Russia to England in the Imperial yacht. Polar Star .^ 

Although very attracted to the young Tsarevich, Alix 
was reluctant to change her religion, and the problem 
appeared insurmountable. A devout Lutheran, Alix felt 

( 38 ) 

that Orthodoxy and Lutheranism were too far apart and 
she could not bring herself to any change. However , she 
consented to talk to the Tsar’s confessor, who had made 
the trip with Nicholas. Finally, she was won over by 
the astute priest and promised to change her creed and 
accept Orthodoxy. After a talk with William II, she 
could no longer hold off the insistant Nicholas. On 
April 8, 1894 , Alix consented to be his wife. Nicholas 
could not restrain his joy. On that day he wrote in 
his diary: 

A beautiful day in my life which I shall never 
forget. The day of my betrothal with my dearest 
and incomparable Alix. About ten o’clock this 
morning she came to Aunt Michen j^the Grand Duchess 
Marie Pavlovna^/ and after having%alked with her 
we came to an understanding together. My God, what 
a joy, what a load of anxiety was lifted from my 
shoulders. With what joy I shall be able to 
gratify dear papa and mama! I remained the whole 
day wrapped in a kind of cloud, and could not 
realize what really had happened to me. Wilhelm 
sat in the next room awaiting the end of our 
conversation with my uncles and aunts. I went 
immediately with Alix to see the Queen, and then 
Aunt Marie » where there was a long scene of 
tenderness, and we kissed one another. After 
lunch we went to Aunt Marie’s £the Duchess of 
Edinburgh J private chapel, where a service of 
thanksgiving was celebrated. I cannot believe 
yet that I have a bride.' 8 5 

These were the happiest days of Nicholas’s life, and 

he spent every waking hour with Alix. On April 10, 

1894, he wrote of his joy to his mother: 

^5 Journal Intime , 51-52 


No, dear Mama, I can*t tell you how happy 
I am and how sad at the same time that I am 
not with you and can*t take you and dearest 
Papa to my heart at this moment. The whole 
world is changed for me; nature, mankind, 
everything; and all seem to be good and 
lovable and happy. 86 

His love grew every day. The couple spent the 
days together, getting to know one another. On June 
14, 1894, he wrote his mother to tell her what they did: 

We were out all day long in beautiful summer 
weather, boating up and down the river, picnicking 
on shore for tea. "A veritable idyll" .. .Granny 
[Victoria had given him permission to call her 
"Granny"J has been very friendly, and even allowed 
us to go out for drives without a chaperone t 
I confess I didn*t expect that! 87 

In Russia the condition of Alexander fast 
deteriorated, necessitating the recall of Nicholas. 
Leaving Alix behind, he traveled to the Crimea where 
the family was staying. Nicholas spent his days 
dreaming of Alix and worrying about his father. 

Realizing death was close at hand, Alexander sent a 
message to his future daughter-in-law inviting her to 
come at once to Alix*s sister, Grand Duchess 
Elizabeth, hurried to the border to meet her. Nicholas 
commented in his diary: 

Papa and mama have allowed me to bring my 
dearest Alix over here from Darmstadt. Ella 
and Uncle Serge are going to bring her here. 

I was deeply touched by the love they showed 
me and by their desire to see her. What a 

8 ^ Lett ers, 76 . 

8 ? Ibid . . 82. 


happiness to meet her again so unexpectedly! 

It is only sad that this meeting takes place 
tinder such circumstances. 88 

Nicholas* s joy was short-lived, for the "Tsar Pacificator" 
died on October 20, 1894. Immediately the entire country 
went into mourning. 

Alix entered the country behind a funeral cortege. 
Usually the future Tsaritsa had time to learn what her 
role would be, for it was normal for her to be married 
many years before her husband became Tsar. 

Under different circumstances, Marie might have 
helped her daughter- in- lav: and guided her through the 
intricacies of Russian court life. But she was entirely 
absorbed in her own grief. Alix stayed in the back- 
ground as much as possible and tried to learn what others 
required of her. She did not speak Russian and, while 
other Tsarevnas had had time to learn the language and 
get acquainted with Russian customs, Alix had four 
days. 8 ^ 

Nicholas married Princess Alix on November 13 » 

1894. The wedding took place in St. Petersburg, scarcely 
a week after the funeral. The honeymoon consisted of 
attending two masses a day and receiving visits of 
condolence. But even amid all the sorrow Nicholas could 

Journal Inti me, 93* 


Alexander, I 69 . 

( 41 ) 

find joy, for he was now married to ‘'a person in whom 


I have absolute faith.*' 

Alix found joy only with her husband, for her mother- 

in-law* s grief overshadowed her. The attention of the 

entire country focused upon the grieving Dowager 

Empress, and Alix was unhappy and lonely. She expressed 

her feelings to a friend in Germany, a lady-in-waiting 

to Princess Henry of Prussia: 

I feel myself completely alone, and I am in despair 
that those who surround my husband are apparently 
false and insincere. Here nobody seems to do his 
duty for duty*s sake, or for Russia, but only for 
his own selfish interests and his own advancement. 

I weep and I worry all day long, because I feel 
that my husband is so young and so inexperienced. 

He does not realize how they are all profiting at 
the expense of the state. What will come of it 
in the end? I am alone most of the time. My 
husband is all day occupied and he spends his 
evenings with his mother. 91 

Alexandra Feodorovna — ifhen she accepted the 
Orthodox religion her name was officially changed — did 
not forget the snubbing she had received on her last 
visit to St. Petersburg. She mistrusted the court 
society and refused to take part in the formalities 
expected of her. This aversion to society proved to 
be her undoing. The gay world of St. Petersburg 

9 °Witte, 198. 

^Radziwill, Intimate , 44. This last statement of spending 
all her time by herself is incorrect. Nicholas spent 
all the time he could with his bride. He makes 
constant references to it in his diary. 

( 42 ) 

reproached her for refusing to provide it with the 
pleasure which it expected from the Tsaritsa. The 
number of Imperial balls held in the Winter Palace 
was drastically cut. Nicholas with his passive and 
secluded attitude did not object to his wife*s curtail- 
ment of official court functions. 

Alexandra did not care for the ladies of Russian 

society, and they showed their disapproval by continuing 

to snub her. She felt that the women were frivolous 

and unconcerned about serious things. An old dowager 

informed Alexandra that in fact the ladies were very 

busy with charitable functions, such as running hospitals 

and so on. To this Alexandra replied that “probably they 

were exceptions, because she did not see how women who 

danced every night during the winter could think of 

anything serious in the summer, and that, besides, they 

spent most of their time abroad buying dresses for the 


coming seasoni'”^ 

She showed no tact and could not fit into court 
society. At a ball, she observed a woman wearing a 
low cut dress and sent one of her ladies-in-waiting to 
rebuke the woman. 

“Madame, Her Majesty wants me to tell you that in 
Hesse- Darmstadt we do not wear our dresses that way.“ 

92 Ibid . . 82 


"Really? " said the young woman, and pulling the 
front of her dress still lower, she added with a giggle: 
"I want you to tell Her Majesty that in Russia we wear 
our dresses this way."93 

Alexandra was distraught at what she considered to 

be the low moral standard of St, Petersburg society. 

She acquainted herself with all the gossip in town, and 

then decided to reform the morals of the empire. From 

the invitation lists, she struck all the names of any 

women she heard discussed in the gossip circles. St. 

Petersburg society women retaliated by boycotting all 

court functions. Nicholas finally had to intervene and 


put his mother in charge of invitations. 

All these childish actions impaired her popularity 
with Russian society and made her reluctant to fenter 
it. Her sharp tongue got her into trouble not only 
with court society but also with her immediate family. 

She was a vindictive woman and had a satirical sense of 
humor. She drew caricatures and liked to show them to 
her guests. One day she produced a sketch of the Tsar, 
sitting in a baby chair, his mother scolding him for 
not eating a bowl of soup. She passed the picture around 
to the members of the family who were present. Her 
mother-in-law was in the group, and it did not improve 

^Botkin, 26 . 

^Mouchanow, 118 . 

( 44 ) 


their already deteriorating relationship. 

The Imperial couple decided to live in the Winter 
Palace in St. Petersburg. The palace, however, was in 
need of renovation and unsuitable to the young Tsaritsa 
who wished to refurnish the apartments which they would 
occupy. The newly, married couple stayed with the 
Dowager Empress while the necessary arrangements were 
completed and lived in the small rooms which Nicholas 
had occupied as a bachelor. The two women could not 
agree on how to manage a house, and the friction increased. 

Alexandra became dominant in everything that 
concerned her domestic life. 9? Nicholas did not want to 
anger her by opposing her wishes and left to women all 
matters of the household. She recognized his weakness 
and with a little show of force usually received what 
she wanted. 

Nicholas, not caring for the pomp of court life, 
preferred to live the life of a country gentleman after 
they_inoved to Tsarkoe Selo. There home life was simple 
and undisturbed. 

95 ibid . , 51. 

96 Ibid., 20-21. 

97The influence of the Dowager Empress upon her son 
began to wane soon after his marriage, and Nicholas 
fell more and more under Alexandra* s influence. Count 
Witte felt that this was one of the most unfortunate 
aspects of Nicholas* s character. Witte, 19 6. 

( 45 ) 

^During the first years of their married life, 

Alexandra concerned herself only with domestic matters. 

Nicholas and his ministers felt that women had no place 

in politics. However, with the birth of her long- 

awaited son, she interested herself in his political 

destiny. She felt obliged to help her weak-willed 
husband maintain autocracy intact so that they could 
pass it on to their son without any changes. ^ 

Alix recognized Nicholas* s weakness and constantly 
urged him to act like a Tsar. A man with the character 
of Nicholas needed a wife capable of giving him the 
strength he needed. But he had a mate as narrow- 
minded as himself, with far more authoritarian ideas. 

She had a high opinion of her own qualities and tried 
to substitute her will for his weak one. During the 
war, she encouraged Nicholas to go to the front to 
assume supreme command of the Eussian forces. He agreed, 
and left the government in her hands. To the British 
Ambassador she expressed her determination: 

"I have no patience with Ministers who prevent 
him doing his duty. The situation requires firm- 
ness. The Emperor, unfortunately, is weak; but I 
am not, and I intend to be firm." 99 

As she began to control her husband more and more, 

she became less and less popular with her relatives. 

^Mouchonow, 95-96. 

^ ^ Buchanan , 1 , 238 . 


She had never been friendly with her mother-in-law, who 
constantly gave Nicholas advice which Alexandra resented. 
With the hermit-like withdrawal of the Imperial family 
into Tsarskoe Selo, Marie became less influential. 

Alexandra made jokes about Marie which infuriated the 
dowager empress. 

Alexandra did not approve of her brother-in-law, 
for he was a threat to her position. Nicholas *s health 
had never been good, and on several occasions he had 
been seriously ill. Once in the Crimea, when the 
Imperial family gathered around his sickbed, it appeared 
that Nicholas would die. At this time Alexandra was 
pregnant, but there still was no male heir. The family 
council decided that, if Nicholas should die, Michael, 
his oldest brother, would be proclaimed Tsar, without 
taking into account the possibility of Alexandra having 
a male heir. After this decision, Nicholas* s condition 
began to improve, but Alexandra never forgave the family 
for overlooking her .'*' 00 

Although the marriage was a very happy one, Nicholas* s 
choice of a wife was an unfortunate one. Despite the 
few good qualities she possessed, her love for her 
husband and her ill-advised attempts to promote firmness 
in his character made her not a fitting spouse. She 

•*- 00 Badziwill, Intimate , I65. 


failed to win the affection of her subjects, and she 
misjudged all the political situations in which she 
involved herself. Alexandra proved to be Nicholas* s 
undoing. His weak-willed character fell under the 
influence of her unsound and unfortunate advice. Her 
determination to pass the autocratic rule intact to her 
son made her look back into the nineteenth century rather 
than forward into the twentieth. Had Nicholas, subject 
as he was to a stronger influence, been blessed with a 
consort with broader and more liberal views, the history 
of the reign might have been different. 


After : his marriage, Nicholas and Alexandra decided 
to live with his mother until their own apartments at 
the Winter Palace were ready. Living in four small 
rooms, Alexandra and her mother-in-law constantly 
competed for the affection of Nicholas. With the 
completion of the apartments at the Winter Palace, the 
Imperial couple left Tsarskoe Selo, much to the relief 
of Alexandra. However, the stay at the Winter Palace 
was not prolonged and soon they decided to move back to 
Tsarskoe Selo, away from the court and society of St. 

Tsarskoe Selo,, or the Tsar*s village, although 
situated only fifteen miles southwest of St. Petersburg, 


shone with palaces, parks, lakes, canals and flower 
gardens. Everything was man made. The lakes, which 
were large enough to accomodate small sailboats, had 
been dug by Turkish prisoners of war and could be 
emptied and refilled like a bathtub. Catherine the 
Great ordered two hills, called the “big and small 
Catherines caprices , “-^l to be constructed on level 
ground across the highway, and then ordered tunnels 
to be dug through the hills. 

Catherine I founded Tsarskoe Selo in 1?12 as a 

country house to escape the society of St. Petersburg. 

Later Tsars and Tsaritsas added to it, and finally 

Catherine II ordered the famous Italian architect 

Rastrelli “to make Tsarskoe Selo more beautiful than 

Versailles." The Palace itself, with its gallery of 
mirrors copied from Versailles and its walls inlaid with 
amber and agate covered with Chinese silks and French 
tapestry, was a monument to Russian autocracy. 

From Alexander I on, the Tsars considered the big 
Palace to be a bother and built or lived in smaller 
dwellings scattered around the main palace or in. its 
wings. Nicholas I lived in a "cottage at Peterhof." 
Alexander II lived at his “farm," and Alexander III 

lul Botkin, 16. 
102 Ibid . . 16 . 

( 49 ) 

chose the service floors of Gatchina, with rooms so 
small that he could almost touch the ceiling with his 
mighty outstretched arms.- 1 - 0 ^ 

Nicholas and Alexandra chose the Alexander Palace, 
built by Catherine the Great for her favorite grandson, 
Alexander I, Designed by an Italian architect, 
Quarenghi, it was a beautiful palace with its classical 
lines. However, the spacious halls, which Alexander I 
and his brother Nicholas had enjoyed so much, were later 
deserted for a wing of the Palace which had originally 
been meant to service the main hall. The wing was 
divided into two parts, one half for the Tsar, the other 
half for his wife. 

The Imperial couple r s private apartments, situated 
quite closely together, allowed them to be close to one 
another all day. The Tsar*s study, billiard, sitting 
and dressing rooms with a fine bath, adjoined the 
apartments of the Tsaritsa. Nicholas insisted the study 
be kept in immaculate condition. The big writing table 
had every pencil and pen in a precise position. The 
large calendar on the desk had all Nicholas* s appoint- 
ments written carefully in his own hand. Nicholas 
liked to feel that he could go into the room in the dark 

10 3chernavin, ’’The Home of the Last Tsar, H Slavonic 
and East European Review, vol. LI, (April, 1939 ) , 

659 . 

CONNER. R.0 0 M 


C3 O 

> > 
r- r~ 

E LU t 





BED P.0 0 M 




L I 















( 50 ) 

and be able to find anything by simply reaching out his 
hand. Nicholas never allowed a telephone in his study 
until the war, for he thought it a nuisance. The 
dressing room and the white-tiled bathroom, separated 
from the sitting room by a corridor and a small stair- 
case, were always freshly cleaned after every use, for 
the Tsar could not tolerate a valet who would not keep 
his rooms in perfect order. 

Nicholas used the billiard and sitting room very 
little, for he spent most of his free time in his wife*s 
apartments. This room, however, contained all the 
family albums of photographs and records of the reign. 

The albums, bound in green with the Imperial monogram, 
were filled with pictures taken over a period of twenty 
years. Nicholas took more care than anyone else in the 
family in pasting the photographs into the albums. He 
was neat about everything he did. A simple letter took 
him hours to complete. 

Alexandra had her rooms furnished in the same simple 
manner, except in a feminine character. The drawing- 
room, with its pink walls and furniture and grey- green 
carpets, was a favorite meeting place for Nicholas and 
Alexandra during the day. The room, as all rooms in the 
Imperial suite, was crammed with cheap, tasteless 
furniture. On the walls of this room, like the rest, 
hung family photographs. On every table and shelf. 


the family piled photograph albums. Every month new 
ones appeared, until the entire wing was literally 
covered with family happenings. 10 ^ 

A total disregard for artistic works permeated the 
entire household. This disregard for art was not a 
typical Romanov trait, but rather it started with 
Alexander III and carried on with his son. Nicholas* s 
taste was that of a middle-class banker, who filled his 
room with everything he could. The only fine articles 
in the room were the oriental carpets. The furniture, 
with no set pattern, was in bad taste. There were 
enormous sofas, divans with high backs, large writing 
tables, and cloth-covered or leather-covered armchairs. 
The paintings, by second-rate artists, showed no taste 
or design. 

The people of Tsarskoe Selo saw the Imperial family 
no more than did the residents of St. Petersburg. All 
they saw were the Imperial carriages, ministers, army 
officers and newly-arrived ambassadors coming and going 
from the Palace. To the Imperial family, life at home 
was quiet and uneventful. Like his father, Nicholas 
ran his life on a tight schedule, with hardly any 

Nicholas rose before his wife and went to his study 
to begin the day*s work. Officials placed government 


'Viroubova, 55-56, 75* 104 

( 52 ) 

documents on his desk in neat piles, and Nicholas 
looked at them while waiting for his wife to dress. 

When Alexandra had finished her preparations, a servant 
would inform Nicholas that his wife waited in the dining 
room, and he immediately went to her. Breakfast never 
began without the Tsar. It consisted of eggs, cold 
meat, cakes, biscuits and hot rolls. Nicholas, a 
gourmet, insisted that everything be prepared with the 
utmost care. After breakfast, Nicholas returned to his 
study and Alexandra watched over the children. 

Lunch began at one o* clock and Nicholas partook of 
this meal most freely. The Tsar, his wife, the children, 
his aide-de-camp and an occasional guest ate together. 

The meal consisted of five or six courses, beginning with 
caviar, and relishes, and always ending with fresh fruit, 
no matter what the season. After lunch the adults sat, 
drinking very strong coffee, and talked. Then Nicholas 
returned to his study or received guests. 

Before tea, Nicholas went for a long walk with his 
aide-de-camp. Tea time never varied. Seated at a little 
white table with a beautiful silver service, the Tsar 
and his wife sipped tea and ate hot bread and butter or 
English biscuits. Alexandra often complained that 
while others had exciting teas, her routine never 
changed. Nicholas would not allow it, for it was 


served, to him just as it had been served to his father. 

Every day at the same moment, Nicholas opened the door, 

came in, sat down at the table and buttered a piece of 

bread. Ee always had just two cups of tea. As he 

drank he read the paper or glanced over telegrams. 

Nicholas met his ministers from six to eight and 

then went directly to dinner. On Sunday a military 

band outside the window played Nicholas’s favorite 

marches. Dinner consisted of mainly Russian dishes, 

for Nicholas did not like French cuisine. A fish called 

sterlet was his favorite dish, and he was also fond of 

pudding. Alexandra did not care what she ate, and 


preferred oatmeal and eggs to anything else. 

After dinner the Tsar returned to his study and the 
Tsaritsa, in her rich dinner gown and jewels which she 
always wore to dinner, tucked the children in and then 
stayed with the Tsarevich until he fell asleep. During 
some evenings Nicholas worked in his study, and during 
others he read in a clear and pleasant voice to Alexandra, 

^°^Mouchanow, 98 -IOO; Viroubova, 57* 


T 06 

the older Grand Duchesses and Anna Viroubova. He 
enjoyed Tolstoy, Turgenev and his favorite, Gogol, 

Evening tea, served at eleven o* clock, marked the close 
of the day. Viroubova went home, the Tsaritsa and 
children to bed, and Nicholas went to his study to write 
in his diary. This routine hardly ever changed. 

Nicholas hardly ever drank around his family. 

Before each meal he would have a small bottle of vodka, 
which was the Bussian custom at the time. Occasionally 
he sipped Crimean wine. Occasionally Nicholas dined 
with the Hussars and toasted them freely with champagne. 

Nicholas and Alexandra enjoyed each other* s company. 
They teased each other, constantly jested and enjoyed 
being left to themselves. lo8 When they did have visitors, 
Nicholas sipped the always present tea and Alexandra 
chatted and played with the children. Nicholas went 
through official documents while talking to his guest, 
and when he found an interesting one he would pass it 
to Alexandra who, after reading it, passed it back. 

-*-0°Viroubova held no official office and was seldom seen 
in public. Yet she was a' constant companion to the 
Tsaritsa. She never accepted money for her function at 
court. She was a young, fat, ugly woman with a round 
head. She was no intellectual, but this appealed to 
Alexandra. Her marriage to an army officer, which lasted 
only a few days, had been arranged by Alexandra, but 
Nicholas had the marriage dissolved when she told the 
Tsaritsa she was unhappy. She spent every evening with 
the Tsar and his family. Paleologue, I, 228-229; 
Viroubova, 58* 6 l. 

107Mouchanow, 99 . 

1 Q 8 Ibid . , 9 4-95. 


Guests and visitors never heard official business 
discussed in their presence, for it was considered to 
be in bad taste. -^9 

However, guests were seldom welcome to the family 
circle. They entertained, but only on the rarest occasions. 
This seclusion which the Imperial family insisted upon 
keeping helped to destroy the respect for the Tsar which 
had been very strong in the past. Even the grand-ducal 
clan hardly ever visited or were invited. The Grand 
Dukes saw the Tsar and his family several times a year, 
and only then on state occasions. To this Nicholas made 
a few exceptions, such as his uncles and Grand Duke 

Nicholas preferred outdoor exercise to indoor enter- 
tainment. Walking was his favorite pastime. He was an 
accomplished tennis player and enjoyed riding, hiking, 
building snow houses with his children, and hunting. 

He hunted elk, deer and wild boar; and one day in Poland 

he bagged 1,400 head of pheasant, which he considered 


to be a good day*s catch. 

Blessed with four daughters in quick succession* 

10 9Grand Duchess Marie, Education of a Grand Duchess, 

(New York, 1930), 353 

-^--^Charques , The Twilight of Imperial Russia , (New 

York, 1958")* 51; Buchanan, I, 174; Paleologue, 

111 ^ * ^9 • 

x Buchanan , 1 , 16 8 . 

( 56 ) 

the Imperial couple waited with anxiety for the birth 
of an heir. At last, during the Russo-Japanese War, 
the long-awaited Tsarevich arrived. Dr. Ott, the 
presiding physician, announced to the Tsar: "I con- 

gratulate Your Majesty on the birth of a Tsarevich. 11 3-12 
The long-awaited son had been born; the succession of 
the line would continue. The Tsaritsa recovered from 
the effects of the chloroform, and read the expression 
on her husband* s face. She cried, "Oh, it cannot be 
true; it cannot be true. Is it really a boy ? "^3 
Nicholas fell on his knees and began to cry. 

The son, so long awaited, had hemophelia; and his 
parents lived in constant fear for his life. Because 
of this, Rasputin held the Tsaritsa under his power; for 
she believed only he could save the boy*s life. Everyone 
in the family loved and adored young Alexis. Extremely 
lively, he gave his parents constant fear that he might 
fall and start the dreaded bleeding. He spent many 
months in bed and became a very spoiled child. Nicholas 
loved his son; and in the Abdication Manifesto he stated 
that he did not want to part with his dear son, and thus 
gave the throne to his brother. 

Alexis had a personal surgeon attached to him in 
112jvjouchanow , 155 • 

n 3 lbid. , 155. 

( 5 ?) 

case he began to bleed. Derevenko, a sailor, pls.yed 
with the boy and constantly watched him. Whenever Alexis 
became sick, he x-Jould carry him in his arms from place 
to place. Although treated well by all members of the 
Imperial family, Derevenko became a Bolshevik Commissar 
during the Revolution. 

Vasiliev, the confessor of the Imperial family, 

was constantly at the side of the children giving them 

religious instructions. Although he failed to graduate 

from the Academy of Theology, the Tsaritsa liked the way 


he made a showy performance of the Orthodox rituals. 

And so the Imperial family lived in splendid 
isolation. Never bothering to tour the Empire, they 
remained at Tsarskoe Selo, content with their way of 
life. Events would happen, however, which would shake 
them out of their complacency. 


Nicholas left Tsarskoe Selo early Friday morning, 
February 24, 191? (O.S.), for Noghilev. Persuaded not 
to extend the power of the existing Duma, Nicholas 
returned to the front. 

When the food riots broke out in Petrograd, Nicholas 
decided to return to the capital, but his advisors 
persuaded him to return to Tsarskoe Selo. They refused 


'Botkin, 78-79; Viroubova, 72-73 


to tell him the true situation in Petrograd. Finally, 

Admiral Nilov, comm a nded by Nicholas to tell him the 

truth, relented and told the true situation in Petrograd. 

General Tsabel, the Imperial train commandant, filled 

in the rest of the story. Nicholas became very angered 

and in explosive terms attached all those who had betrayed 

him. Finally, after cooling off, he became indifferent, 

saying: "Well, thank God. 1*11 go to Livadia. If the 

people want me to, 1*11 abdicate and retire to Livadia 

to my garden. I love flowers." 11 ^ 

Forced to abdicate by the Provisional Government, 

Nicholas did not write in his diary on the day of his 

, 116 

abdication and did not start again until March 6, 1917. 

•^-^Reeves, 75-76. 

■^-^The first words the Tsar spoke after the deputation 
from the Provisional government had left were 
addressed to the Cossacks standing guard at his door: 
"It is time now for you to tear my initials from 
your shoulder straps." The Cossacks saluted and one 
of them said: "Please your Imperial Majesty, please 
allow us to kill them." But Nicholas replied: "It 

is too late to do that now." Viroubova, 215. 



March 6, Monday. 

In the morning I was very happy. I received two letters 

from dear Alix [the Tsaritsa] and two letters from Marie 

SQone of his daughters]. The wife of Captain Kalobkin 

from the Finnish regiment brought them. I took a walk 

in the garden. Mama came to breakfast. We sat together 

until 3 o* clock. I took a walk; again it started snowing. 


After tea I received Williams. At 8 o* clock I took 
Mama to the train. 

March 7, Tuesday. 

I received two more letters from dear Alix brought by 
officers from the regiment. At 11 o* clock I received 
Williams, Janin, Byckels all were warm and sympathetically 

^•^Major-General Sir John Hanbury-Williams , K.C.B. , 
K.C.V.O., C.M.G., was Chief of the British Military 
Mission in Russia, 1914-1917* Nicholas told Williams 
that the letters which he referred to on this date 
were smuggled in by an officer under his tunic. 

Nicholas in this discussion expressed a desire to stay 
in Russia. He did not express any anxiety for his own 
safety. He hoped to be able to go to the Crimea, 
but if he had to leave Russia, he would prefer England. 
He felt the right thing was to support the new govern- 
ment, as that was the best way to win the war. 

John Hanburg-Williams , The Emperor Nicholas II As I 
Knew Him , (London, 1922") ,’ 169-171 • 

( 60 ) 

treated. I had breakfast with Mama, and sat with her 

■until 2 : 30 . I received Coanda, Romei, Marcengo, and 

Lontkevich. I took a walk for about an hour. The 

weather was mild but all day it had been snowing. 

After tea I began packing things. I had dinner with 


Mama and played bezik with her. 

March 8, Wednesday. 

I was at Moghilev during the day. At 10:15 I signed the 

farewell notice to the Army.^^At 10:30 I came to the 

duty house where I said goodbye to all the ranking staff 


members and the management. At home I said goodbye to 
the officers and Cossacks of the Convoy and the Compo- 
site (reserve) regiment. My heart almost broke. At 

^^General j a nin, member of the French military mission 
to Russia; General DeRyckel was a member of the 
Belgian military mission. 

-*--*-9 ]3ezik is a Russian parlor game. 

120^13 farewell address to the Army was never published 
by the Provisional Government. 

3- 2>1 Grand, Alexander described the day: "General 

Alexiev invited all to assemble in the main hall of 
the GHQ. Nicholas is to address all the members of 
his former staff. By eleven a.m. the hall is packed. 
Generals, officers, and persons in attendance on the 
Emperor are present. Nicholas entered — calm, reserved, 
bearing the semblance of a smile on his lips. He 
thanked the staff and begged them to continue their 
work *with the same loyalty and in a spirit of self- 
sacrifice,* He invited them to forget all feuds, to 
serve Russia and lead the armies to victory. He says 
good-bye in curt, soldier-like sentences. His modesty 
made a tremendous impression. Those present shouted 
* Hurrah* as we never had in the last twenty-three 
years. Elderly generals cry. Nicholas bowed and 
walked out of the room." Alexander, 290. 

( 61 ) 

12:00 I went to the railroad car with Mama. I had a 
short breakfast with her in her suite and remained with 
her until 4:30. I said goodbye to her, Sandro, Sergei, 
Boris and Alexis. 122 They did not allow poor Muloa with 
me. At 4:45 I left Moghilev, a touching crox^d of people 
saw us off. Pour members of the Duma accompanied me on 
my journey i^ 2 3We went to Orsha (at 9 a.m.^j and Vitebsk 
(jbhey made a short stopj. The weather was cold and windy. 
I felt miserably sick and depressed. 

March 9» Thursday. 

Quickly and happily we arrived at Tsarskoe Selo at 11:30. 

Good Lord, what a difference in the streets and the 

palace surro undings , within the park were sentries, and 

on the porch such insolence t I went upstairs and there 


I saw dear Alix and our dear children. She appeared 
well and healthy. They were all together in a dark room, 
but all felt well except Marie, who had just caught the 
measles. We had dinner and joked with Alexis. I saw 

^- 22 Sandro (Grand Duke Alexander) embraced his cousin 
knox>ring that he would not. see him again. Nicholas 
boarded the train wearing a simple khaki blouse, with 
the cross of St. George C/oxinded by Catherine the 
Great for military service ~) in his buttonhole. 

Dowager Empress Marie kissed her son goodbye and was 
finally led away when the train could no longer be ^ 
seen. She never saw her son again. Ibid . , 292. 

^ 2 3The four men were: A. A. Bublikov, V. Vershinin, S. 

Gribunin, and S. Kalinin. 

124 01ga, 1395-1918; Tatiana, 1897-1918; Marie, 1899-1918; 
Anastasia, 1901-1918; Alexis, 1904-1918. 


dear Benckendorf . I took a walk with Dolgorukov and 
then worked with him in the garden. T.K. also arrived 
somehow. After tea I unpacked my things. In the evening 
we all sat around talking. 12 ^ 

March 10, Friday. 

I slept well. Bonda, Romei, Marcengo, Lontkevich and I 
took a walk for about an hour. The weather was mild, but 
all day it had been snowing. After tea I began unpacking 
things. I had dinner with Alix and played bezlk with her.^ -2 ^ 

•'When Nicholas arrived home, his wife flew like a 
school girl to his side. Nicholas sobbed like a 
child and then gained control of himself. When 
walking and working in the garden, Nicholas and 
Dolgorukov were surrounded by six soldiers. With 
their fists and the butts of their rifles, they 
pushed Nicholas back and forth. "You can*t go 
there, Gospodin Polkovnik [jMr. Colonel j, we don*t 
permit you to walk in that direction, Gospodin 
Polkovnik. Stand back when you are commanded, 
Gospodin Polkovnik." Nicholas appeared -unmoved 
and finally turned with dignity and returned to 
the palace. Viroubova, 212-213. 

Nicholas, at this time, related none of his feelings 
to his diary; however, he was quite bitter. Mrs. 
Viroubova related his feelings; "After he had 
returned to Tsarskoe Selo he was treated quite 
badly and was bitter. He told me, * If all Russia 
came to me on their knees I would never return.* 

"With tears in his voice he spoke of the men, 
his most trusted relations and friends, who had 
turned against him and caused his downfall. He 
read me telegrams from Brusiloff, Alexieff... 
Nicholai Nicholaievich. . .on their knees begged 
pnim~f to abdicate." Ibid., 21^. 


March 11, Saturday. 

In the morning I received Benckendorf .^?I learned 
from him that we had stayed here long enough. It was 
a pleasant realization. I continued to burn my letters 
and papers. Anastasia had an earache, so now she went 
with the rest of them (the sick childre^Q . From 3 o* clock 
until 4-: 30 I walked in the garden with Dolgorukov^-28 
and worked in the garden. The weather was unpleasant 
with a wind at about 2 degrees above frost. ^^At 6:45 
we went to vespers in the camp church. Alix took her 
bath before I took mine. I went to see Anna, Lili Dehn 
and the rest of our friends . ^30 

March 12, Sunday. 

It began to thaw. In the morning Beckendorf and Apraksin 
were with us; as they left they said goodbye. At 11:00 
we went to Mass. Alix got up today. Olga and Tatiana 
are much better today, but Marie and Anastasia are worse. 
They have headaches and earaches and are vomiting. I 
took a short walk and worked in the garden for a while 

•l- 2 ? General Count Pavel Konstantinovich Benckendorf was 
Grand Marshal of the Imperial Court before the 
February revolution. Kerensky, A., Russia and History* s 
Turning Point , (New York, I 965 ), 328. 

128p r j_ nce Dolgorukov was the second marshal of the court. 

129fhe Russians measure temperature from thirty-two 
degrees . off frost , 

•*-30Anna Viroubova was arrested on March 21, 1917* and 
then removed from Tsarskoe Selo to St. Petersburg. 

She escaped the Bolsheviks. Lili Dehn, wife of 
Captain von Dehn. Both were arrested and later 
released by the Provisional government. Viroubova, 225. 

( 64 ) 

with Dolgorukov. After tea I continued to put my papers 
in order. In the evening we all gathered together. 

March 13 » Monday . 

It continued to thaws the day was overcast. I took a 
walk in the morning for half an hour. Everyone here 
is busy. Marie continued to have a high temperature, 

40.6 degrees, and Anastasia’s ears ached. Everyone else 
felt fine. I took another short walk during the day and 
worked for a while. In the evening we sat with Anna and 
Lili Dehn. 

March 14, Tuesday. 

It was a cloudy day and thawing. In the morning I took 
a walk with Dolgorukov for three or four hours. Now 
there is plenty of time to read for my own enjoyment, 
there is sufficient time to sit up with the children. 
Marie’s strong temperature continued at 40.6 degrees. 
Anastasia has complications xtfith her ears, though yesterday 
they punctures her right ear drum. During the day I took a 
walk to the old park. 

March 15, Wednesday. 

It was a wonderful cold sunny day. I sat with Dolgorukov 
as always now with the accompaniment of one of the officers 
of the guard. I took a good walk. Marie and Anastasia’s 
condition was the same as yesterday. They slept badly 


and. Marie’s high temperature broke the record, since 
during the day her temperature was 40.9 degrees. The 
rest improved quite a bit. During the day I walked a 
long way and worked. Until dinner, I read, and in the 
evening I sat with the children 'until 10:00 and we 
drank tea twice. 

March 16, Thursday. 

It was a clear cold day. During the morning I took a 
walk. Marie and Anastasia were in the same condition, 
lying in a dark room and coughing badly; they have such 
bad colds. Marie’s and Anastasia’s high temperatures 
were high and alternatively rose and fall. They also 
were weak. During the day I took a long walk and worked; 
Dolgorukov and I finished the path to the old summer 
house. In the evening I stayed up with Anna and Dili 


March 18 , Saturday . 

It was a cloudy day and thawing. During the morning 

!3lThe first two days of Nicholas’s return to Tsarskoe 
Selo the Tsar and Tsaritsa were allowed to have 
private conversations. But after they were separated 
during the remainder of the stay. This was ordered 
by the Provisional government because Kerensky felt 
that Alexandra was a bad influence on Nicholas and 
they should be separated. They were permitted to 
see each other at meals and with a member of the 
guard present. Nicholas occupied his evenings with 
others. Beeves, 79-80. 

( 66 ) 

while I was taking my walk a wet snow was falling. 

During the day Marie had a temperature of 40.9 and 
was at the time delirious, towards evening her temperature 
fell to 39 • 3- During the day Anastasia had a temperature 
of 3?»8, in the evening 39*3» I worked for a while 
during the day. At 6:30 I went with Olga to Vespers. 

In the evening we went to bed early. 

March 19, Sunday. 

It was a bright day. At 11 o* clock I went to Mass with 
Olga, Tatiana and Alexis. Marie and Anastasia* s tempera- 
ture fell to normal, but towards evening Marie* s rose a 
little bit. I went for a two hour walk; I walked and 
worked and delighted in the weather. I returned home 
at 4:30. I sat for a long time with the children. In 
the evening we sat with Anna and others. 

March 20, Monday. 

Marie and Anastasia apparently have passed the crisis, 
for their temperature remained normal; all day they 
intermittently sleep and wake. I took a walk after 11 
o* clock. Outside it was melting very much. During the 
day I worked quite a while. In the evening I sat with 

March 21, Tuesday. 

Today Kerensky, the present minister of Justice, came. 

( 67 ) 

He went through all the rooms and wanted to see us. He 
talked to me for five minutes. He introduced the new 
Palace commander and then left.'^^ 2 He ordered the arrest 
of poor Anna and took her to the city together with Lili 
Dehn. This happened between 3 and 4 o* clock while I was 
walking. The weather was disgusting and it corresponded 

•^■32Kerensky described the visit: "I clearly remember 

my first interview with the former Tsar, which took 
place in the middle of March at the Aleksandrovsky 
Palace. Upon my arrival in Tsarskoe Selo I inspected 
the entire palace thoroughly and inquired about the 
regulations of the guard and the general regime under 
which the imperial family was being kept. On the 
whole, I approved of the situation, making only a few 
suggestions for improvement to the commandant of the 

"Then I asked Count Benckendorf, former marshal 
of the court, to inform the Tsar I wished to see him 
and Alexandra Fyodorovna. . .The old count, who sported 
a monocle, listened to me gravely and answered: *1 

shall report to His Majesty. 1 In a few moments he 
returned and announced solemnly: *His Majesty has 

graciously consented to see you.*... 

"A small man in uniform detached himself from the 
group (the whole family was in the room} and moved 
forward to meet me, hesitating and smiling weakly. It 
was Nicholas II. On the threshold of the room in 
which I waited him, he stopped as if uncertain what 
to do next... I quickly went up to Nicholas II, held out 
my hand and with a smile said abruptly, * Kerensky,* 
as I usually introduce myself. He shook my hand 
firmly, smiled, seemingly encouraged, and led me at 
once to his family... 

"I inquired about the health of the members of 
the family, informed them that their relatives abroad 
were solicitous '.of their welfare and the King and Queen 
of England had notified the Provisional Government of 
their concern for the Imperial family. 

Nicholas inquired about the military situation 
and wished me success in my new and burdensome office. 
Throughout the spring and summer he followed the 
military events, reading the newspaper carefully and 
interrogating his visitors.” 

Colonel Korovichenko assumed command of the Palace 
on this day. He had been a military lawyer and a 
veteran of the Japanese and European wars. Kerensky, 
328 - 331 . 


to our moodJ Marie and Anastasia slept almost all day. 
After dinner the four of us calmly passed the evening 
away with Olga and Tatiana. 

March 22, Wednesday. 

During the night there was a storm and a lot of snow 
fell. The day became sunny and quiet. Olga and Tatiana 
went out into the air for the first time and sat around 
the balcony while I walked. After breakfast I worked 
for a long time. The youngest [Anastasia and AlexlsJ 
slept a little more and felt better. We passed all the 
time together. 

March 23* Thursday. 

It was a clear day after 2 o* clock and thawing. During 
the morning I took a short walk. I collected my books 
and things and began to pack all that I wanted to take 
with me if I happened to go to England. ^^Af' ter break- 
fast I took a walk with Olga and Tatiana and worked for 
a while in the garden. We passed the evening as always. 

March 24, Friday. 

A wonderful quiet day. During the morning I took a walk. 
During the day, Marie and Anastasia were taken to the 
playroom. I worked with Dolgorukov; now almost all of 
the path is clean. At 6:30 I went to vespers with Olga 

^■33Nicholas* s talk with Kerensky appeared to have given 
him the attitude that he might go to England. 


and Tatiana. During the evening I read Chekov aloud. 

March 2 S* Saturday. 

An unprecedented event happened; vie were placed under 
house arrest, without the slightest possibility of 
communication with Mama or others. 11 o* clock I 
went to Mass with Olga and Tatiana. After breakfast I 
read and worked with them on the island. The weather 
was cloudy. At 6:30 vie vrere at Mass and returned viith 
pussy willows. Anastasia got up and went down to the 
dining room. 

March 26, Palm Sunday. 

All day it was foggy. I walked and worked on the island. * 
Tatiana also came out with me. I put my books and things 
in order. In the evening the guards came and sat around 
with us. 

March 2? , Monday . 

We began to fast. After Mass, Kerensky arrived and 
ordered the limiting of our encounter [/between Nicholas 
and Alexandra at dinner./, viith the children sitting 

I3^0n this day the United States of America declared 
viar and Nicholas made no mention of the event. 

^35K; erens i C y the family put under house arrest, for 
rumors were spreading through Petrograd that the 
guards vrere counter-revolutionary and the Imperial 
family vias getting too many privileges. Kerensky 
felt the ‘prisoners* should be strictly isolated 
and be made to respect authority. Ibid . , 331* 


separately; supposedly in order to teach us to keep 
discipline, the same as Soviet workers and soldiers. 

We accepted and submitted ourselves to avoid any kind 
of violence. I took a walk with Tatiana. Olga was 
better, although she had a sore throat. The rest of us 
felt fine. At 9^5 I lay down and Tatiana sat with me 
until 10:30. Then I read for a while and tried to eat. 

I took a bath and went to sleep. 

March 28, Tuesday. 

I slept very well. The weather was warm and that is 
why the road had already become worse; I took a walk. 

At 11 o* clock we went to Mass. Olga still had a sore 
throat and a temperature around 39*^» how boring — she 
is still not far from having the measles. I took a walk 
and worked on the island with Tatiana. At 6 o* clock 
Anastasia went with us to services. I again passed the 
evening with Tatiana and passed the night by myself. 

March 29, Wednesday. 

It was a nice warm day. I got up at 9 00 since I had 
slept poorly. I walked to Mass. 0. Afansy Belyaev 
held services for us in the camp church. At the 
confession were: Vasili, the confessor, the deacon, 

the sexton and four choir boys who managed their duties 
very well. It*s a pity that not all the children could 
go with us to the church. I walked with Tatiana on the 


island; two of the officers of the guard also helped us. 
After dinner we passed the evening together. 

March 30* Thursday. 

A strong wind was blowing and during the day it drove 
away the storm clouds. At 10 o* clock I went to Mass» 
after which many of us received the Eucharist. I took 
a short walk with Tatiana. Today was the funeral of 
"victims of the revolution." It was held in the park 
opposite the center of Alexander's Palace not far from 
our windows. We could hear the sound from the funeral 
march and the Marseilles . Towards 5 5 30 everything was 
finished. At 6 o ? clock we went to the service of the 
Angels. Belyaev read them very well alone. The evening 
went the same as last evening. 

March 31 * Friday. 

It was a very nice sunny day. I took a walk with Tatiana 
until 11 o* clock. At 2 o* clock the shrouds were carried 
out.-*-36x walked and worked near the ferry. At 6:30 I 
went to services. In the evening I confessed to 0. 

I forgot to mention that yesterday we said goodbye 
to of our employees, who finally were released from 

13%uT covers had been left for a day to discredit the 
Tsar. On March 30 , the crowds had marched in front 
of the Palace yelling: "Death to the Tsar." Kerensky 

relates that Nicholas became furious and said the 
whole ordeal was in bad taste. Ibid . , 33 ^. 


Alexander’s Palace to their families in Petrograd. 1 ^? 

The weather was fine, with a strong south wind. At 
9 o’clock we went to Mass and received the Eucharist, 
the greatest of Christian mysteries, with the rest of 
the people. I took a walk until breakfast. During the 
day the ice began to break up near the bridge. I walked 
with friends and Tatiana. I slept for a while until 
dinner. We gave presents to each other, eggs and 
photographs. ^38At 11:30 we went to the Midnight Easter 

April 2, Easter Sunday. 

Mass finished in an hour and forty minutes ,^-^We broke 
our fast with 16 other people. I laid down and went to 
sleep. The day became radiant, genuinely festive. In the 
morning I walked. Before breakfast, I gave — but with- 
out Alix — all our employees photographs of the eggs 
which were preserved from our former supply .^^There 
were 135 people here during the day. We began to work 

' 1 '37^] riese servants were not released but rather asked the 
Provisional Government if they could be dismissed. 

Even the children’s nurses deserted and the Provisional 
Government had to provide necessary medical assistance. 
Ibid . , 328. 

1 3 8 This was a Russian custom to exchange gifts on Easter Eve. 

-*-39when the priest prayed for the Provisional Government, 
Nicholas crossed himself piously. Gilliaied, 225. 

-1-^0 Many jewelled and painted eggs had been presented to the 
Tsar and his family over the years and these had been 


at the bridge, but soon a large crowd of idlers began 
standing at the railings and we had to leave. It was 
boring to spend the rest of the time in the garden. 
Alexis and Anastasia went out into the air for the first 
time. At 7 o’ clock vespers were held up above the 
playroom. After dinner -I passed the time away until 
11 o’clock. I read aloud to Tatiana. I went to bed 

April 3» Monday. 

It was a wonderful spring day. At 11 o’clock, I went 
with Tatiana and Anastasia to Mass. After breakfast I 
went walking with them and all during that time the ice 
was breaking up near our summer dock; a crowd of idlers 
again collected at the railings and from the beginning 
to the end observed us. The sun was shining warmly. 
During the evening I played ’'Mill" with Alexis and then 
read aloud to Tatiana. 

-l- Every day the Tsar and his children went into the 
garden, to cut ice and clear snow. The guards 
usually chose a place close to the fence of the 
park, and the inhabitants of Tsarskoe Selo gathered 
on the other side of the fence to stare and make 
remarks. Often crude and rude, the Tsar continued 
his work as if he heard nothing. They spoke to 
him as if he were a caged animal unable to hear 
or do anything about it. Marie, 308. 

On this day, the officer of the guard warned 
Nicholas the crowd was ugly, but Nicholas replied 
he wasn’t frightened. Gilliard, 220. 


April 4, Tuesday. 

It was a marvelous spring day, 12 degrees in the shade. 

I walked for about an hour. During the day the ioe 
continued to break up, and a crowd watched us from the 
railing. I began to read a little bit of the Hi story 
of the Byzantine Empire ; it is a very interesting book. 
The evening passed like the last ones. 

April 5, Wednesday. 

During the night it rained; almost all of the snow has 
disappeared. The day became overcast and cool. I slept 
poorly and got up late. During the morning I took a 
walk. During the day I worked for a while with Alexis 
and the staff on both bridges. We did not see too many 
people near us as there was very much water. Till dinner 
I read from my books, and in the evening I read aloud to 

April 6, Thursday. 

I slept poorly; the weather .has become overcast. I 
took a walk with Alexis and 'during the day chopped ice 
at the dam under the bridge. We were accompanied by 
six infantry men besides the officerst The evening 

went as usual 


April 7, Friday. 

The weather cleared up and was fine. I took a long 

walk during the morning because it was nice. During 

the day I worked with Tatiana and Alexis. The faces of 

the guards have not been as free and easy as before. They 

usually talk with us and give us their impressions of the 

revolution. I read for a long time. At 10:15 I laid 

myself down. 

April 8, Saturday. 

We quietly celebrated our 23 rd wedding anniversary. 

The weather became warm and spring-like. During the 
morning I walked for a long time with Alexis. I learned 
why yesterday* s guards were so mean. They were completely 
from the staff of the Soldier* s Soviet and had replaced 
the guards from the 4th Infantry Reserve Battalion. ^ ^ 

We worked near the dock under a warm sun and were 
watched by a large crowd. At 6:30 I went to vespers 
with Tatiana, Anastasia and Alexis. The evening went 
as before. 


On April 7, Nicholas and his family were given the 
privilege of going out twice a day; in the morning 
from eleven until noon and in the afternoon from 
half past two until five. Ibid . , 226. 

■^^The Government had been bothered by complaints 
from the Soviet and decided to replace the guard 
with members of the Soviet. 

( 76 ) 

April 9, Sunday. 

It was a surprisingly nice spring day. I took a walk in 
the morning for half an hour. We went to Mass from 2 
o* clock until kiJO. We worked and broke up the ice 
between the two bridges in front of the center house. 

I read for a long timedaf ter tea. Towards evening storm 
clouds gathered. I was very warm; Alexis took down the 
winter storm windows. 

April 10, Monday. 

The day became cool. Alix*s throat hurt a little, and 
she continued to have a cold. Olga is still in bed and 
Marie got up for a few hours. During the day I worked 
for a while with Tatiana between the bridges. The eve-* 
ning went as before. 

April 11, Tuesday. 

Again it was a wonderfully quiet day. I took a walk 
from 11 until 12 o? clock. During the day Alix finally 
went outside with us on our walk. She watched as we 
worked on the ice. The sun shone pleasantly. I read 
until dinner. Alix said vespers for the children. I 
sat with Tatiana until 11 o* clock. 

April 12, Wednesday. 

It was a cold day with a wind blowing. I took a walk 
for half an hour and then sat with the children while 


Alix was at Mass. During the day Kerensky came and 

distracted me from the work on the ice. At first he 

spoke with Alix and then with me. After t ea j read. 

During the evening I sat alone — we drank tea together 

1 Ac 

and slept in the same place. J 
April 13. Thursday. 

During the night it got cold, down to 3 degrees above 
frost; and the day became cold and unpleasant with a 
wind. I took a walk for an hour with Dolgorukov, as 
every morning. During the day I took a walk with Tatiana 
and Alix’s staff but without Alix. Until dinner I read, 
and in the evening I read aloud to the children until 
11 o’clock. 

April 1 4, Friday. 

Temperature of the air was wintery, together with rain and 
wet snow. I took a walk for J/k of an hour. During the 
day on my walk none of the children were with me, for 
fear of catching a cold. After tea, I examined all my 

“ton one of Kerensky’s visits, Alexis went up to the 
Minister and identified himself. Then he asked 
Kerensky if he were the Minister of Justice. "Yes, 11 
said Kerensky, ” I am." "I want to know," said the 
Tsarevich, "if my father had any right to abdicate 
for me when he abdicated for himself." Reeves, 81. 

^5 Although there had been a change in guards, the rules 
at this time were relaxed, for Nicholas and his wife 
were allowed to walk and sleep together, which had 
been forbidden. 


boots and threw away the old land useless ones. In the 
evening I began to read aloud the book by A. C. Doyle, 

The Valley of Pear, to the children. 

April 15, Saturday. 

It was a cold day, but a little better and without snow. 

I took a walk and read for a while. During the day I 
went out with Tatiana. When we were about done working, 
a crowd of off-duty infantrymen from the guard came up 
to us and watched with curiosity as we took out the blocks 
of ice. At 6:30 we went to vespers. During the evening 
I read aloud from a book. 

April 16, Sunday. 

During the night the temperature went down to 3 degrees 
of frost; beside that, 9 . cold wind was blowing. At 11 
o' clock we went to Mass. I walked with Tatiana and read 
until dinner to myself -and in the evening to the children. 

April 17, Monday. 

Involuntarily I recalled that it was the holiday of the 
1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments; but human eyes and 
trumpets did not announce this day today through the walls 
of the large palace. During the morning I thought about 
this. From 12 o’clock until dinner I gave Alexis 

1 Uf. " 

^°One of the few times Nicholas comes close to complaining 
about his existence before he is moved to Siberia. 


geography lessons. ■^7 1 took a walk and worked with 
Tatiana. The x>reather was clear and fine. The evening 
went as yesterday. 

April 18, Tuesday. 

Abroad, today is the first of May. 0.$r "blockheads" 
decided to celebrate the day by processions through the 
streets with musicians and red flags. They came openly 
to us in the park and placed garlands on the graves. 

The weather got worse up to the time of the celebration. 
I think wet snow started to fall. I went out to walk 
about 3:^5, when all this started. I worked for an hour 
and a half with Tatiana. During the evening I read to 
the children, A Millionaire Girl. 

April 19* Wednesday.'*' ® 

The weather was the same as yesterday but a little warmer. 

From 12 o’clock until dinner I sat with Alexis and gave 

him a history lesson. During the day I took a walk with 

•^^Nicholas took a great deal of interest in his son’s 
education when he found it shockingly lacking. In the 
words of Naryshkin: "The. little Tsarevich said to me. 

the other day: ’Papa has examined us. He was very much 
dissatisfied and said: "Is that all you have learned?"’ 
The daughters have volunteered to teach him and the 
parents are following their example. The Emperor has 
chosen History and Geography, the Empress Religion and 
German." Browder, P. and Kerensky, A. (ed.). The 
Russian Provisional Government, 191 7 . (Stanford, 1961), 
I, 188. 

-I h O 

The Provisional Government changed the Gregorian 
calendar to correspond with the West; thus, it was 
May 1 in Russia. 

( 80 ) 

him and Tatiana. For the first time all the family ate 
at the same table. Olga and Marie were the last ones to 
get better. 

April 20, Thursday. 

This extraordinary spring weather continues; the sun 
appeared, but a heavy snow was falling and a strong wind 
was blowing. During the morning between 10 o’clock and 
11 o’clock, I gave Alexis a geography lesson. Then I 
took a walk. During the day we worked on the ice. I 
saw a sentry sleeping on a bench wrapped up in his 
sheepskin coat. Until dinner and after dinner I read for 
a long time. 

April 21, Friday. 

The weather was warmer, and it appeared as if there would 

be an absence of precipitation. I took a walk with 


Alexis on the Children’s Island. And then I occupied 
myself with his Russian history. During the day, 
Anastasia also went out on a walk for an hour and a 
half. We worked on the ice 'between the bridges, until 
dinner. I read History of the Byzantine Empire : during 
the evening I read it aloud. 

l49 0ne of tile man y little islands in the artificial ~~ 
lakes which were scattered all through Tsarskoe 


April 22, Saturday. 

It was a wonderful spring day. I took a walk with 
Alexis from 10 until 12. He played on the island, but 
sentries stood on the other side of the garden and 
watched. During the day we worked in the previous place. 
The sun got a lot brighter. At 6:30 the whole family 
went together to vespers. During the evening I read 

April 23, Sunday. 

Wonderful weather presented itself for dear Alix. 

Before Mass one of the men living in the palace and 
also our servants congratulated her. 1 ^ 0 ! ate, as always, 
alone. At 2 o’clock the whole family went out into the 
garden. We worked on the pond around the Children* s 
Island. We broke up all the ice. We returned home at 
4:30. I read to myself till dinner and in the evening 
read aloud. At 9 o’clock I started reading again. 

April 24, Monday. 

During the night it again got worse; during the day 
squalls came up, but the sun was shining and there was 
a wet snow. During the morning I took a walk while 
Alexis played on the Island. Afterwards, I gave him a 
lesson in geography. During the day we worked on the 

^°April 23 was Alexandra’s saint’s day. 

( 82 ) 

ponds. Yesterday the ice successfully melted. The 
evening went as usual. 

April 2 5» Tuesday. 

Again we had quite spring-like weather. During the 
morning, I took a walk while Alexis played on the 
island. After we returned, a thick snow fell and 
covered everything with a white shroud. During the day 
I walked for three hours and then came home to finish 
an interesting book. History of the Byzantine Empire by 
Uspensky, 870 large pages. After dinner, as usual, we 
worked on the puzzle and then I read aloud to the 
children until 11 o* clock. 

April 26 , Wednesday. 

The weather was cold but dry. About 5 o* clock the sun 
came out. After my walk I gave Alexis his history 
lesson, going up through the reign of Vladimir. During 
the day with Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia, vie pushed 
large blocks of ice from the dam to the end of the 
bridge. Until dinner Thread a book. 

April 27 » Thursday. 


The day of the birth of dear Georgie. The weather 

^iQeorgie, Grand Duke George, was the late brother of 

( 83 ) 

improved slightly. During the morning I walked a little 
farther after Alexis's geography lesson. I had breakfast 
with E. A. Naryshkin. ^-5 2p rom 2:30 till 4:30 I walked and 
broke up the remaining ice still there. Until dinner I 
read to myself and in the evening aloud. 

April 28, Friday. 

The day became nice and sunny. I walked between 11 and 
12 and gave Alexis a history lesson. During the day we 
walked and began working on the arrangement of the 
vegetable garden in the garden opposite Mama's window. 
Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia actually dug up the ground, 
and the commander of the infantry officers watched and 
occasionally gave advice. During the evening I finished 
A Millionaire Girl . 

April 29, Saturday. 

It was very nice clear weather. I took a walk. During 
the day the whole family went out into the garden; Alix 
sat in a lawn chair and watched us work, digging up the 
garden. At 6:30 we went to vespers. The last two days 
we have eaten without electric lights. Evenings are 
becoming lighter. I began to read aloud from the book 

General Naryshkin, an army associate and close 
friend, Ibid . , I, 180 . 

^^With the coming of spring and the disappearance of 
the ice , Nicholas decided to take up gardening, to 
insure his daily exercise. 


by Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of %foe'< as . 

April 30 » Sunday. 

It was wonderful weather. I walked to Mass. At 2 o'clock 
we all went out into the garden, and many of our people 
helped us with the work. With a great deal of diligence 
and even joy, the whole group was occupied with the land 
and worked constantly until 5 o'clock. The weather was 
delightful. I read up to dinner and afterwards. 

May 1 , Monday . 

It was a nice warm day. During the morning I took a nice 
long walk. At 12 o'clock I gave Alexis a geography 
lesson. During the day we worked again in our vegetable 
garden. Even though the sun was scorching, we continued 
working successfully. I read until dinner time to 
myself and in the evening I read aloud. 

Yesterday we learned of the resignation of General 
Kornilov as Commander- in- Chief of the Petrograd Military 
District and this evening about the dismissal of Guchkov. 
All of this happened because of the irresponsible inter- 
ference in the direction of military power by the 
Soviet workers* deputation, which is very far to the 


left . 1 '^ 

What has providence prepared for poor Russia? 
Well, it Ttfill be as God wills it. 

May 2, Tuesday. 

It was a warm, overcast <Lay. I took a walk for a while. 

I finished reading the book by Kasso, Russia in the Duma , 
and I started reading the many-volumed composition by 

Kuropatkin 1 ^ 

.lied Problems of the Russian Army . The 

evening went as usual. 

May 3* Wednesday. 

Alexis's arm hurt, and he stayed in bed all day. From 
morning to evening it rained; this was very good for the 
appearing vegetables. I took a short walk in the morning 

-^General Kornilov had not been able to win the support 
of the soldiers and the Soviet officials. Kerensky 
replaced him with a young officer. General P. A. 
Polovtsev, who had been in the Duma Military Commission 
at the outbreak of the Revolution. His relations with 
the soldiers were fairly good. Kerensky, 273* 

Alexander Guchkov had been the Minister of War. 

He was not popular with the sailors and soldiers; 
and on May 1, 1917, he sent the following message 
to Prince Lvov: "In view of the situation in which 

the Government, particularly the War Minister, now 
finds itself, a situation which I am unable to alter 
and which jeopardizes the defense, freedom and existence 
of Russia, I can no longer conscientiously continue 
as Minister of War, nor share responsibility for the 
grievous harm that is being done to my country." 

Browder and Kerensky, III, 1267 . 

•^Kuropatkin, Alexis, was Russian war minister during 
the Russo-Japanese War. Wren, M.C., The Course of 
Russian History, (Mew York, 1983 )* ^ 85 . 

( 86 ) 

and during the day with Marie and Anastasia. I read for 
a long time. During the evening I finished the English 
book aloud. 

May 4, Thursday. 

The weather became clear but cool. Alexis* s arm didn't 
hurt any longer, but he stayed in bed all day and didn’t 
do anything. After my morning walk I read for a long 
time. During the day everyone again worked in the 
garden. During the evening I read aloud a book in French, 
Le mystere de la chambre jaune . 

May 5> Friday. 

After my morning walk I gave Alexis a history lesson. 

His arm had quit hurting, and he got up after breakfast. 

We continued to work in the garden; Alix went outside for 
an hour. At 6:30 we all went to vespers. Until dinner 
I received presents. I read to the girls aloud. 

May 6, Saturday. 

I turned 49 years old. I do not have long to go until 
50 . My thoughts were particularly on dear Mama. It is 
difficult to not even be able to write. I do not know 
anything about her other than what I read in the stupid 
and offensive state newspapers. !56 T he day went like 

15'^The Dowager Empress Marie was at the grand- ducal 
estate in the Crimea. Forbidden to write or tele- 
graph her son, she was in constant fear for the life 
of the Tsar. 


Sunday; Mass, breakfast upstairs, the puzzle. We all 
worked in the vegetable garden; we began to dig up the 
flower beds; after; tea vespers were served, dinner and 
evening reading — it is much better with my dear family 
than ordinarily. 

May ? , Sunday . 

It was cold, windy weather with snowy squalls. But we 
went to Mass. I took a walk during the day with Tatiana, 
Marie, and Anastasia, while Alexis played on the island. 
Until and after tea, I read to my heart* s content. 

Towards evening the weather finally turned like winter. 
Snow fell and the temperature was 2 degrees below frost. 

May 8 , Monday . 

During the morning everyone went out into the fresh 

snow. A cold wind was blowing and it was unpleasant 

to walk in. From 12 o’clock on, I gave a geography 

lesson to Alexis. At 2 o’clock the sun came out; it 

got warm and quiet. I took a walk with the girls and 

sat with them on the island. I saw the commander of 

Tsarskoe Selo, Colonel Kobylinsky, who took a walk with 

the Palace .Commander , Lt. Colonel Korovichenko , and 

me. The evening went as usual. 

^••5?Col. Korovichenko had replaced the first Palace 
Commander, Colonel Kotsebue, who had been accused 
of being too friendly with the imperial Family and 
Anna Viroubova. Korovichenko was determined not to 
make the same mistake. Colonel Kobylinsky tried to 

May 9 a Tuesday 

It was a very nice sunny day. I took a walk for almost 
an hour with Alexis. During the day we again worked on 
the vegetable garden; to dig up the beds was difficult 
because of the dampness of the soil after the snow. I 
read Kuropatkinsky book xtfith interest until dinner and 
during the evening a French book aloud to the girls. 

May 10, Wednesday. 

It was a nice warm day. I spent an hour out in the air 
with Alexis, but afterwards I gave him a history lesson. 
During the day everyone was out in the garden. We 
worked on the vegetable garden and began to plant some 
things. At 6:30 vespers were held. I finished the 

save the family from unnecessary indignities, but 
his authority was never very certain. Guards 
repeatedly demanded to see the Tsar and his family 
at any hour of the day or night. On such occasions, 
Nicholas invariably received the men in a most 
friendly manner. On one of these occasions, Nicholas 
held out his hand in a friendly way to shake the 
man’s hand. The officer turned away and Nicholas 
went up to him, with tears in his eyes and said: 

"Why did you do that?" The guard turned around 
with hate in his eyes and said: "I was born of 

common people; and when they stretched out their 
hand to you, you did not take it, so now I will not 
shake hands with you." 

The guards swore at and blew smoke into the 
face of Alexandra and her daughters, pushed the 
little boy and took his toys away; and once, when 
Nicholas was riding a bicycle, one of the guards 
inserted his bayonet into the spokes and laughed 
as the Tsar tumbled to the ground. Frankland, N. , 
Grown of Tragedy , (London, i 960 ), 128-129. 


French book. 

May 11, Ascension Thursday. 

It was a nice light day. I took a short walk until 
Mass. After breakfast I went with Alix to visit E. A. 
Naryshkin, who apparently had pneumonia. We worked in 
the vegetable garden and perspired a lot. I read until 
7:15 and then for the first time I went for a ride with 
the children on bicycles. It was very pleasant to get 
out and breathe the evening air. 

May 12, Friday. 

I took a walk with Alexis during the morning. We went 
to see if the work was finished on the grounds for our 
tennis court in its old place. Before lunch I gave 
Alexis a history lesson. At 2:30 we went out into the 
garden. I helped the others dig up the beds in the 
flower garden between the first and the fourth porches, 
and then I returned to the garden and continued to work 
on our vegetable garden. The weather became cloudy and 
cool. In the morning we rode in the hospital car to the 
large palace of E. A. Naryshkin, at his request, to 
see some of our relatives. 

May 13 » Saturday. 

It was a nice sunny day, with a cool breeze. I took a 
walk for an hour with Alexis. During the day, we worked 


in the garden. I watched as they brought the canoe 
and the boat to our pond. Tatiana and Alexis helped, 
and we went for a boat ride.^^At 6:30 we went to 
vespers. During the evening I read the book Le parfum 
de la dame en nolr , which I had started the 11th of May. 

May 14, Sunday. 

It was in different surroundings that we celebrated the 
21st anniversary of my coronationl The weather was 15 
degrees in the shade. Until Mass I took a walk with 
Alexis. During the day from 2:00 until 4:30 we spent the 
time out in the garden; I went for a ride in the canoe, 
and in the boat ; and I worked for a while in the vegetable 
garden, where I prepared the new beds, and later we were 
on the island. After tea and during the evening 1' read. 

fey 15 , Monday . 

It was a clear, warm day. After my walk I gave Alexis 
a geography lesson. We went out into the garden at 
2 : 15 . I worked all the time with the others in the 
vegetable garden; Alexis and the girls planted various 
things in the beds which we had prepared. At 5 o* clock 
we returned home perspiring. After tea I read. At 
7:00 I went out with Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia and 

■^^Colonel Korovichenko gave them the privilege of 
boating, though they were constantly watched. 

Franklin, 129. 


went for a ride on the bicycle until 7:15. The evening 
went as always. 

May 1 6, Tuesday. 

It was a nice light day. After noon it got to be 20 
degrees in the shade. I took a walk for an hour during 
the morning while Alexis played on the island. I 
finished the first volume of Problems of the Russian 
Army by Kuropatkin and started the second. From 2:15 
until 5:00 I worked very hard in the vegetable garden 
and perspired. 

May 1?, Wednesday. 

A guard from the Reserve Battalion of the 2nd, Tsarist 
Infantry Regiment (commanded by Ensign Belyakovsky) 
conducted themselves as they should, not one of the 
guards was loafing about the garden, and the conduct 
of the sentry was decent .^-^^Bef ore dinner it was a splendid 
hot day, 20 degrees in the shade and in the sun 33 degrees 
with a light southern breeze. I took a walk for more 
than an hour with Alexis and gave him a history lesson. 
During the day we took a walk, worked, and went for a 

-^Nicholas was very concerned about the army and the 
discipline problems. Kerensky abolished the death 
sentence, one of the reasons being to protect the 
lives of the Imperial family. Nicholas heard about 
this and exclaimed: "It is a mistake. The abolition 

of the death penalty will ruin the discipline of the 
army. If he is abolishing it to save me from danger, 
tell him that I am ready to give my life for the 
good of the country." Buchanan, II, 73» 

( 92 ) 

ride on the pond and sat on its bank. Until dinner 
time I took a ride with the girls on the bicycle. About 
9 i 30 storm clouds came up and poured necessary life- 
giving moisture on the ground. 

May 18, Thursday. 

It was such a nice day. It was very fresh after yester- 
day's rain. The whole park had become very green. The 
weather was wonderful during my walk, after a geography 
lesson with Alexis'. During the day I again worked very 
hard cutting the grass and preparing the new flower 
beds. Until dinner we took a ride on the bicycles. 

During the evening it became quite cool, 9 degrees. 

May 19, Friday. 

During the morning there were a lot of storm clouds, but 
at 11 o'clock the sun came out and the weather became 
quite clear and immediately warmer. After my walk I 
gave Alexis a history lesson. During the day I diligently 
dug in the beds with the others. Sixty-five guards of 
the 2nd, Infantry Regiment were again undisciplined, and 
the officers were indifferent. Until dinner time we 
took a ride on the bicycle. 

May 20, Saturday. 

It was an ideally warm day, with no breeze. I took a 
walk for an hour and a quarter during the morning with 
Alexis. During the day I worked with the others in the 


vegetable garden,, and we rested and took a ride in the 
canoe. At 6:30 we went to vespers. The aroma from the 
garden was wonderful while sitting at the window. In the 
evening I began to read aloud Le fauteuil hante' l 

May 21, Sunday. 

It was nice weather, without any clouds in the sky. I 
took a walk with Alexis until 10:00. At 10:30 we began 
Mass and then vespers, which lasted until 12:30. During 
the day we went out into the garden for three hours. In 
the garden we sawed up some wood into firewood and went 
for a ride in the canoe and on the bicycles. I read 
until 7 00 and then took a short walk with the girls 
until dinner. 

May 22, Monday. 

It was a warm, overcast day. I went for a walk until 
11 o’clock with Olga, Anastasia and Alexis. We had 
lunch at 12 o 1 clock. During the day we spent three 
hours in the garden, on the island and the pond. 

Towards the end it started to rain, and it continued 
until 8 o’clock. The aroma coming in through the 
windows was wonderful. Today is the anniversary of 

1 £.r\ 

the Army attack on the south-western front. u How 
different my sentiments were from what they are now. 

May 23, Tuesday. 

It was also a cloudy day; only towards evening the sun 
came out. During the day we chopped down three dry trees, 
a birch tree on the island and two large fir trees in the 
park. Before dinner I took a ride on the bicycles with 
the girls. The evening was wonderful. 

May 2 4, Wednesday. 

It was a warm day with a cooling rain. During the morning 
I took a walk with Alexis. Until lunch I gave him a 
history lesson. In an hour we chopped up one of yester- 
day's fir trees. We returned home, a little early because 
of the rain. At 6:30 we went to vespers. Before dinner, 
Alix received modest presents. 

May 25, Thursday. 

The birthday of my dear Alix. May God grant her health 
and a calm spirit. Before Mass all of the servants 
offered their congratulations. We had breakfast upstairs 

loO-Brusilov offensive of 1916, in which General Brusilov 
carried out a two-pronged attack on the Austrian flank. 
It was designed to knock Austria-Hungary out of the 
war. The Russians made giant gains through the summer 
months of 1916, but were finally pushed back after 
Austria-Hungary received help from her German ally. 
Wren, 5 38 • 


as usual. During the day Alix went out with us into the 
garden. We chopped down and sawed up trees in the park. 

At 7:30 I went for a ride with the girls on the bicycles. 
The weather was fine. During the evening I began to read 
aloud Le comte de Monte Christo . 

May 26, Friday. 

About the time of my morning walk, the new commander-in- 
chief of the Petrograd Military District — General 
Polovtsev — detained Alexis and me from our walk in the 
garden for 20 minutes. The weather was fine. At 3 : 15 
everyone went for a walk; we chopped down another two 

May 27, Saturday. 

Korovichenko just got here to say goodbye and bring with 
him his successor. None of us was sorry about his leaving 
and just the opposite; all were glad about the appoint- 
ment of a new guard off icer.^^The day became very nice. 
During the day I took a walk further in the park still 
looking for dry trees. During the day we chopped many 
down and sawed them up. I went sailing in the boat with 
the children. At 6:30 we went to vespers. During the 
evening I read aloud. 

May 28 , Sunday . 

I walked to Mass with Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia. 
•^•^-Korovichenko was one of the officers of the army guards. 

( 96 ) 

The weather had become lovely. During the day we went 
out for two hours. I went with the children to work in 
the forest. Alix,as always, sat near the wall opposite 
the Children* s Island on which Alexis was playing. After 
4 o’clock we returned here and went for a ride in the 
canoe. At 7:30 we went for a bicycle ride. Before 
dinner Tatiana received some presents. 

May 29 , Monday . 

Dear Tatiana turned 20 years old today. During the morning 
I took a long walk with all the children. At 12 o’clock 
there were public services. During the day we spent 
three hours in the garden, after which I worked two hours 
in the forest. Then we went for a ride in a sailboat. 
During the day it was wonderful. Until dinner we walked 
again and visited the island. During the evening I read 
aloud as always. 

May 3°, Tuesday. 

It became wonderful weather, although it was a cooler 
day. I took a walk from 11 to 12 while Alexis played 
on the island. After breakfast we went out into the 
garden at 2 o’clock. Some of the workers helped me, 
chopping and sawing firewood. Today we added a lot more 
to the pile. Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia helped to 
carry the firewood; two officers and four enlisted men 
of the guard also helped. We returned home for tea at 


5 o'clock. Until dinner we took another walk for half 
an hour. 

May 31* Wednesday. 

It was a wonderful day, warm and cloudless. I took a 
walk with Alexis and then gave him a history lesson. 
During the day we worked successfully along the path, 
going into the shade; we chopped down five dry trees and 
sawed them up into firewood. After tea, Benckendorf and 
I "unsealed a small cupboard in Father’s study and 
examined all the papers and things we found there. I 
walked until dinner time with my daughters. During the 
evening I began to read the second volume of Le comte de 
Monte Christo . 

June 1, Thursday. 

It was a wonderful and warm day. From 10 o’clock on I 
gave Alexis a history lesson, and then we took a good 
walk in the park. After lunch we chopped down a huge 
fir tree in about the same place we were yesterday. It 
was very hot work, and the flies bothered us a lot. I 
also took a walk until dinner time. 

June 2, Friday. 

During the morning I took a walk around the park where 
it was very nice and shady. Until lunch time I gave 
Alexis a lesson. During the day Alix assisted us in 


our work In yesterday’s place; we finished sawing up all 
the f irex'iood. We went for a canoe ride. After an hour 
and a half of reading, I took a walk with Olga, Marie 
and Anastasia. The weather was startling. 

June 3» Saturday. 

After tea Kerensky suddenly came by car from the city. 

He stayed with me for a x\ r hile. He asked me to send to 
the investigating committee some papers and letters having 
relations to internal policies. After my walk and until 
lunch I helped Korovichenko in an analysis of those 


papers. During the day he was helped by Kobylinsky. 

We sawed up the tree trunks in the first place we cut. 
During that time something happened to Alexis’s toy rifle. 
He was playing with it on the island; the sentry walking 
in the garden saw him and asked the officer to take it 
away from him. 

lo^The Provisional Government was carrying out an elaborate 
inquiry into the regime it had overthrown. Kerensky 
supervised the investigation, and that is the reason 
for his many visits to Tsarskoe Selo. He carried on 
an investigation of the private letters and papers 
of Nicholas and Alexandra. The purpose was to try 
and incriminate them as pro- German. Nicholas and 
Alexandra burned many of their private papers, but 
the investigation proved unfruitful. After the 
inquiry Kerensky had a more friendly attitude to his 
prisoners, but they still remained prisoners. 

Kerensky, 328 - 338 . 

l63p r i soners were not allowed to have arms, and under 
this pretense Alexis had his toy rifle confiscated. 

When Colonel Kobylinsky saw the sobbing boy, he 
managed to have the rifle returned. Franklin, 129. 

( 99 ) 

June 4, Sunday. 

It was a._nice warm day with a breeze. I walked to Mass 
with the girls. For the first time we were accompanied 
by the guards from the 3**d . Infantry Batallion. There 
was a great deal of difference between them and the 
others. During the day we finished sawing up the stumps 
of the trees that were already chopped down. We went for 
a ride in the canoe. Till dinner time I took my ordinary 

June 5 » Monday . 

Today dear Anastasia turned 16 years old. I took a walk 
with all the children until 12 o'clock. We all went to 
prayer services. During the day we chopped down some 
big fir trees at the crossing of the three roads along 
the Arsenal. There was a colossal fire, the sun was 
reddish, and in the air was the smell of burning, probably 
from peat burning somewhere. We went sailing for a little 
while. During the evening we walked until 8 o'clock. I 
started the volume of Le oomte de Monte Christo . 

June 6, Tuesday. 

Today Kerensky reviewed all the emergency infantry 
battalions. He did not call on us. During the day we 
chopped up in large pieces dried-up fir trees, very close 
to the place we were yesterday, and others on the Children's 

( 100 ) 

Island. The weather was ideal. 

June 7, Wednesday. 

It was a very warm day with a very strong smell of 
burning in the air. During the morning I took a walk 
around the' park. After lunch we chopped up three dry 
trees; all of them were at the place near the Arsenal. 

I took a ride in the canoe while the others bathed at 
the end of the pond. The head officer of the Guard, 
Shymovich, of the 2nd- Infantry Regiment, is generally 

June 8, Thursday. 

The same sort of hot day; it was 24 degrees in the 
shade. Before my morning walk I gave Alexis a history 
lesson. During the day, despite the tropical heat, we 
chopped down two fir trees. Again, it was the wonderful 
guard from the Infantry Regiment that guarded us. 

I drank a lot of tea after the work. As always, I read 
until my evening walk; and in the evening I read aloud. 

June 9» Friday. 

It has been exactly three months since I came from Moghilev 


It is strange for Nicholas to express himself in this 
way. He usually spoke with equal warmth about all 
his guards, regardless if they called him "Your 
Imperial Majesty" or "Colonel Romanov." It bothered 
him when they woiild not speak to him at all. Nicholas 
wanted to be liked by his guards. Ibid . . 129. 

( 101 ) 

and we have been prisoners. It is difficult to be 
without news from dear Mama, but as to the others I 
am indifferent. -^-^Today the day was still hotter than 
hot — 25 degrees in the shade and in the sun 36 degrees. 
Again there was a strong smell of burning. After our 
walk I gave Alexis a lesson in history in my new reading 
room because it was cooler there. We worked well in the 
place where we were yesterday. Alix did not come out 
with us. Until dinner time all five of us took a walk. 

June 10, Saturday. 

During the night and during the day until 3 o’clock the 
fire, the heat and the stuffiness continued. During the 
morning we took a long walk and had breakfast as before 
in the children* s dining room. During the day we walked 
in the same place as yesterday. A large thunderstorm 
came up and the rain was very cold. At 6:30 we went to 
vespers. During the evening, about 11 o’clock, I heard 
a gunshot in the garden. Within 15 minutes the officer 
of the guard asked to enter to explain that one of the 
sentries fired shots because it appeared to him that 
someone was signalling with a red lantern from the window 
of the children* s bedroom. Examining the arrangement 
of the electric lights and the movement of Anastasia’s 

Nicholas was still embittered by his family’s turning 
against him at the time of the Revolution. 

Viroubova , 215 • 

( 102 ) 

head, who was sitting near the window, one of the guards 
accompanying him surmised the situation and they left, 

June 11, Sunday. 

Yesterday, Teteriatnikov left and was replaced by 
Chemodurov.*^^ During the morning I took a -'Walk with the 
children. At 11 o’clock we went to Mass. The day became 
comparatively nice, 17 degrees in the shade - . To chop 
down and saw up trees was quite easy. We worked on two 
more dry fir trees. I went for a ride in the canoe 
while Alix took a swim in the pond. Until dinner time we 
took our usual walk. 

June 12, Monday. 

After a pleasantly cool night, the day turned hot. During 
the morning I took a nice walk with Valya Dolgorukov. 

I gave a geography lesson to Alexis. During the day we 
dug up a large flower bed in our garden, after which we 
rested in the canoe. During dinner a thunderstorm came 
up, with a refreshing shower. 

June 13, Tuesday. 

It became a nice day with approaching thunder clouds. 
During the morning Iltook a nice walk. Alix’s neck still 
hurts a little bit, and therefore she didn’t come out 

•^^Chemodurov was one 0 f Nicholas’s faithful valets, 
who consented to stay after the Revolution. 

Kerensky, 157-158. 


with us into the garden. Today we chopped down three 
dry trees and cut them up into firewood. After tea I 
read in my reading room. Until dinner time Marie received 

June 14, Wednesday. 

Dear Marie today is 18 years old. During the morning I 
took a walk with all the children; we went all around 
the park. The weather was wonderful. At 12 o’clock we 
went to prayer services. During the day Alix came out 
with us. We worked in the park for a while. We chopped 
down three large trees. After tea, I finished reading a 
work by Kuropatkin called Problems of the Russian Army . 

It was very interesting to me. I began a French book, 


La malson des homines vlvants . 

June 15 » Thursday. 

It was a hot, clear day. I took a long walk in the 
morning. I gave Alexis a geography lesson. Alix 
remained home. We chopped down and sawed up trees in 
the same place as before. We knocked over a large fir 
tree near the small path. I took a refreshing bath 
until tea time. We walked before dinner. During the 
evening I began to read aloud the 5th- part of Le comte 
de Monte Christo . Benckendorf, Valya (DologrukovJ and 
both maids of honor received information about their 

release from service 

June 1 6, Friday. 

The morning was grey and windy-. During the day the sun 
came out for a while. After our walk I gave Alexis a 
history lesson. 'During the day we worked a little while 
longer in the same place as yesterday* but on the left 
side of the road. We cut down two old birch trees. 

I finished La maison des homines vivants . 

June 17. Saturday. 

During the morning I took my usual walk throughout the 
park. The heat became unusual. I began to read Julian 
by Merezhkovsky . During the day we cultivated two more 
flower beds in front of the marble vase in the center 
garden. I went for a ride in the canoe. I took a bath 
before tea. At 6:30 we went to vespers. Thunder clouds 
were gathering and thunder could be heard. During 
dinner it began to rain like a stream for 10 minutes. 

June 18 , Sunday . 

During the night it continued to rain, reviving the air. 
The day started wonderfully. * We walked to Mass. At 2 
o’clock we went to the park to get good soil and then 
worked in the vegetable garden. Before dinner I helped 
the gardener water the flower beds. Towards evening the 
temperature dropped to 9 degrees and there was a light 

breeze . 


June 19 > Monday. 

The weather was comparatively cool. The day went as 
usual. Before dinner itself came a good piece of news 
about the beginning of the assault on the southwestern 
front. After two days of artillery fire, our army took 
the hostile position and took into captivity about 1?0 
officers and 10,000 troops, six vehicles and 24 machine 
guns. Thank Godi What good luckt I slept differently 
after that glad news. *^3 

June 20, Tuesday. 

After yesterday, the battle waged successfully; during 
two days our army took 18,600 prisoners. During the 
evening, thanksgiving services were held at church. 

During the day we chopped down four dry trees behind 
the tennis court and then we worked for a while in the 
vegetable garden until 4:30. All day the weather was 
overcast; at 4 o'clock the welcome rain started. I 
read until dinner time. 

June 21, Wednesday. 

The rain had stopped before my morning walk, and at 
3 o’clock the weather cleared up. Until dinner I gave 

l6?With the intensive pleadings from the allies, Kerensky 
ordered an offensive. The Russians attacked in 
Galacia. The Attack went smoothly until the Austrians 
were reinforced by German forces. Russian ranks split 
and retreated in disorder. WVAft _ 52.^3" 3’ > : v-v. 


Alexis a history lesson. We worked in the park, and 
Alix was there sitting in her chair. I finished 
Julian ; I liked it. Until dinner we took a walk. During 
the evening I read aloud the sixth book of Le comte de 
Monte Christo . 

June 22, Thursday. 

It was a nice day with a refreshing wind. From 10 o’clock 
until 11 o’clock I gave Alexis a geography lesson. I 
took a walk. I began the second volume of Merezhkovski , 
Christ and Anti-Christ, "Leonardo da Vinci ." During the 
day all of us worked in the park across from the Arsenal. 
We cut down and sawed up an enormous fir tree. During 
the evening we continued doing the same thing until 8 
o’clock. We watered the garden. 

June 23, Friday. 

It was a nice, cool day. I took a long walk. I gave 
Alexis a history lesson. During the day we worked in 
the same place as yesterday. We cut down another two 
fir trees. A light rain fell for a while. After tea 
I read until dinner time. 

June 24, Saturday. 

It was a rainy day and slightly cold. During the morning ■ 
I didn’t go outside. At 3 o’clock I went for a walk 
with the children around the park accompanied by an 


infantry man of the Third Regiment. Some of them, along 
with our people, cut the grass by the walk. At 6:30 
we went to vespers. During the evening I read aloud. 

June 2 5, Sunday. 

During the morning I went outside with Alexis. The 
weather was cold. We went to Mass. We went for a walk 
until 2 o’clock. We were drenched by a short rainstorm. 
We cut down and sawed up a small fir tree. We watched 
as our people cut the grass. We sat in the garden a 
while and then returned home. I read aloud until dinner 

June 26 , Monday . 

The day became splendid. Our good regiment commander, 
Kobylinsky, asked me not to wave at the officers and not 
to greet the infantrymen. Before this, there have been 
times when they have not answered. I gave Alexis a 
geography lesson. We cut up a huge fir tree not far 
from the railing behind the greenhouse. The guards 
wanted to help us with our w T ork. During the evening I 
finished reading Le.oomte_de Monte Christo. 

June 27, Tuesday. 

I forgot to mention on the 26th. of June that our army 

I68_^ n Ensign insisted to Kobylinsky that the guards be 
not allowed to speak to or with Nicholas and his 
family. Kobylinsky complied with the man’s request. 
Franklin, 129-130. 


broke a new gap and seized 131 officers, 7,000 men and 48 
vehicles; among them there were some heavy vehicles . All 
the children came out in order to collect the cut grass. 

I took my usual walk. During the day we worked in the 
same place as yesterday. We cut down and chopped two fir 
trees. Until dinner, we spent time in the vegetable 
garden. During the evening I began reading aloud stories 
about Sherlock Holmes. 

June 28, Wednesday. 

Yesterday we los£ 3 ,000 troops and about 30 vehicles. 

Word of GodJ-^^The weather became cloudy and warm. After 
my walk I gave a history lesson to Alexis. We worked out 
there again and cut down three fir trees. After tea and 
until dinner I .read. 

June 29, Thursday. 

It became a nice day. At 11 o* clock we went to Mass. 
Alexis stood at the altar. We took a walk from 2 o’clock 
until 4:30. We worked at the same place as yesterday 
and finished yesterday’s fir and cut down a new one. I 
went for a ride with Tatiana in the canoe. Until tea 
time I took a bath, and before dinner we went into the 

1^9vJith~ each bad report, Nicholas became more and more 
depressed. Gilliaud, 233* 


June 30. Friday. 

It was a nice day, with a lot of smoke from burning peat. 
During the walk I went with Valya to the Chinese theater. 
I gave Alexis a history lesson. We worked in the same 
place as before. We chopped down three trees. Towards 
night we set all the clocks one hour ahead. 

July 1, Saturday. 

The day became excellent . I walked around the whole park 
while the children cut hay and played in the haystacks. 

We worked during the day in the garden. We came across 
some dry trees and fallen timber from the storm of 191^-, 
hidden in the bushes and high grass. At 6:30 we went to 
vespers. late in the evening it started raining. 

July 2, Sunday. 

It was a very warm, overcast day. I got up late and read 
until dinner time. At 2 o* clock we went into the garden. 
At first I walked around the park with Tatiana and 
Anastasia and then cut up the same tree we were working 
on near the summer house. We cut down some dead and 
rotten bushes. During that time the others were 
finishing mowing the lawn and the garden. Until dinner 
time I read and finished Leonardo. After dinner Alexis 

I70^orld War One was the first time daylight savings 

time was used. It was an economy measure to preserve 
coal, oil and electricity. 


( 110 ) 

the cinematograph [movie projector^ and did a good 
job. During the evening I began to read L'homme a 
l'oreille cassOe . 

July 3» Monday. 

It was a warm, windy and cloudy day; but it only rained 
during dinner. During the morning I walked, and during 
the day we cut down a large pine tree by the railing. 

All four children got haircuts, and they look as if they 
belong in a choir. 

July 4, Tuesday. 

I began to read, for the third time, Peter by Merezhkovsky . 
During the morning I took a walk in the warm rain. During 
the day we worked and finished cutting up the pine tree. 
During the evening it rained again. 

July 5, Wednesday. 

All morning it rained, but at 2 o'clock the weather 
cleared up; by evening it had become cool. The day went 
as usual. In Petrograd, these days, there is much 
confusion and gunfire. Yesterday a lot of soldiers and 
sailors from Kronstadt started to go against the Kerensky 
government. There is utter confusion. But where are 
the people who could take this confusion in hand and 
stop the discord and bloodshed. The root of this is 


in Petrograd and not in a’ *. of Russia. ■*■?**■ 

July 6, Thursday. 

In part, the overwhelming number of troops remained 
loyal to the government and tool-; to the streets to 
support it. The weather was wonderful. I took a long 
walk with. Tatiana and Valya, luring the day we worked 
with some success in the forest chopping and sawing up 
four fir trees. During the evening I read. 

July 7, Friday. 

I took a walk in the morning with Marie, Valya, and the 
guard from the 3rd , Infantry Regiment. There was a 
drizzling rain. At 2 o* clock the weather cleared up, 
but it was windy. We worked near where we were before, 
only along the small path. During the evening we glued 

17l0n July 2, a revolt broke out in Petrograd among the 
soldiers who heard that they were to be sent to the 
front. On that evening soldiers and sailors appeared 
in the streets calling for the downfall of the 
Kerensky regime. On one truck there was a red flag 
with the words: "The First Bullet is for Kerensky." 

On the evening of July 4, a strong detachment of 
soldiers and sailors from Kronstadt appeared in Petro- 
grad. Prince Lvov, the minister-president , resigned; 
and Kerensky became the head of the government. Rumors 
were spread that Lenin was a German spy, and the troops 
again began to support the Provisional Government. 

The Bolsheviks were blamed for the uprising and Pravda, 
their party newspaper, was closed; and many of their 
leaders, including Trotsky, were arrested. Lenin 
escaped into Finland. Lenin called these days "some- 
thing more than a demonstration and less than a 
revolution." Kerensky, 289-297; Wren, 538-5^0. 

( 112 ) 

photographs from our "Life Under Arrest" into our album. 
July 8, Saturday. 

It was a nice, hot day. I went around the park with 
Tatiana and Marie. During the day I worked with them in 
the same place as before. Yesterday and today the guards 
from the 1st, and 4th, Infantry Regiments were punctual 
in their performance and were not roaming around in the 
garden as we took our walk. In the staff of the govern- 
ment there have been some changes : Prince Lvov has 

resigned and the President is now Kerensky. That man is 
in the right place at the present time. If he had more 
power, then things would be better. ^?2 

July 9 , Sunday . 

It was a sunny day, with a cool wind. I walked to Mass. 
We walked for two hours. We worked in the second place 
of yesterday and chopped down three fir trees. We 
stacked the wood in the clearing. During the evening 
Alexis showed his cinematograph. I read aloud Tartarin 
de Tarascon . 

July 10 , Monday . 

The weather was overcast and pleasant without being hot. 

■*" "^Nicholas , obviously impressed with Kerensky, felt 
that he was the strong man Russia needed to bring 
about domestic tranquility and bring the war to a 
successful ending. 


I took my morning walk around the park. During the day 
we cut down three dry fir trees and cut everything into 
firewood. We returned home exactly at 5 o’clock. I 
read a lot. Before dinner Olga received presents. 

During the evening I read aloud, Tartarin sur les Aloes . 

July 11, Tuesday. 

During the morning I took a short walk with Alexis. Upon 
returning with him, I learned of the arrival of Kerensky. 
In the conversation he mentioned our likely journey to 
the south, in, -view of the proximity of Tsarskoe Selo to 
the restless capital. -^^Because of her birthday, Olga 
went to services. After lunch we worked outside for 
awhile cutting down two fir trees. We are approaching 
our seventh dozen tree that we have cut down. I finished 
reading the 3rd- volume of Peter . It is well written, 
but it makes a heavy impression. 

July 12, Wednesday. 

The day was windy and cold — only 10 degrees. I took 
a short walk with all my daughters. During the day we 

^■^Nicholas was mistaken about the destination of the 
trip. He expressed to Kerensky a desire to go to the 
Crimea. Kerensky, however, felt that a trip to the 
Crimea would be too dangerous, for it would cross 
unsettled territory. Tobolsk in Siberia had been 
chosen, because it was without railway communications 
and the governor’s mansion was adequate to house the 
family. Nicholas was not informed where the family 
would go, but was instructed to pack warm clothes. 
Kerensky, 328 - 338 . 


worked as before. We chopped down four trees. We all 
thought and talked about the forthcoming journey; it 
seems strange to leave here after four months of seclusion. 

July 13, Thursday. 

For the last two days bad information has come from the 
front. After our Attack in Galicia, many units, thoroughly 
infected with bad defeatist teachings, not only refused 
to go forward but are retreating with no pressure from the 
enemy. Making use of these favorable circumstances for 
themselves, the Germans and Austrians, though weak in 
strength themselves, made, a drive against southern 
Galicia so that they could force all the southwestern 
front to move east. It is disgraceful and disgusting. 
Today, finally, there was a declaration from the temporary 
government in the theater of military action. The death 
sentence is being introduced again against" those guilty 
of treason to the government. It would seem that those 
measures were belated. ^^The day became cloudy and warm. 

offensive which had opened on June 18 had been 
greeted with universal approbation, with only the 
Bolsheviks and their allies voicing opposition. 
Initially, the advance, at least on the Southwestern 
Front, was successful and sustained. But, on July 6, 
the Germans struck back with a counterattack that drove 
them back in retreat and confusion. In an effort to 
save, the day. General Kornilov, whose units had been 
among the few to maintain discipline in the face of 
the advancing Germans, was appointed Commander in 
Chief of the Southwestern Front, and in time the line 
was stabilized after the loss of almost all of Galicia. 


We worked as before, beside the clearing. We chopped down 
three trees and cut up two fallen trees. I began to 
collect my things and my books. 

July 14, Friday. 

It was a little warmer, but the sun was not out. During 
the morning, as usual, I took a nice walk with my daughters. 
After breakfast we worked near the Arsenal. We cut down 
three fir trees and cut up still another tree which had 
fallen in the grass. I packed some books and then read. 
During the evening I read aloud. 

July 15 , Saturday . 

It was warmer today. During the morning I went around 
the park with Olga, Marie, Tatiana and Anastasia. Alexis 
played in the vegetable garden. Only the officer of the 
Third Infantry Regiment walked with us. Today we chopped 
down seven trees along the small walk. We all worked 
together. At 6:30 we went to vespers. During the evening 
we pasted photographs in our album. During the evening 
I began to read aloud The Luck of the Vails . 

Following the rout at the front and after the 
repression of the uprising of July, the death penalty 
was restored in the army, military censorship tightened, 
and the institutions of commissars and committees at 
the front more carefully defined and regulated. On 
July 18, Kerensky appointed General Kornilov Supreme 
Commander, replacing General Brusilov. Kornilov 
demanded that harsh measures be taken to restore order 
both at the front and on the home front. Ibid . , 296 , 
298, 326, 342. 

(11 ' 6 ) 

July 1 6 , Sunday . 

The morning was overcast, "but the weather was warm. At 
the end of Mass, Belyaev, as usual, told us the remarkable 
truthful words of experience with Christ. During the day, 
we worked in the same place as before. We cut up those 
four trees from yesterday and chopped down another four 
fir trees in one heap. Until dinner I walked with Tatiana 
and Marie. The evening became charming. 

July 17. Monday. 

Wonderfully warm weather began. I took a walk with 
Tatiana. The guard from the First Infantry Regiment is 
in good order, and today the guard from the Second 
Infantry Regiment is changing places with them. We sawed 
up the four fir trees from yesterday which were along the 
same path. Work was hot. I took a bath until tea time. 

I looked through some old albums in my new writing room. 

July 18, Tuesday. 

The weather got nice, with a deep blue sky. I read a 
lot until dinner time. The* smell of lime trees in bloom 
drifted in the air. During the morning I took a good 
walk. During the day we worked for a while to the right 
of the path near yesterday’s place. We chopped down four 
dry fir trees, but we only cut two of them up into fire- 
wood because they were rather rotten. The sun felt hot 
and healthy. I took a bath until tea time. 


July 19 « Wednesday. 

Three years ago Germany declared war on us; how I wish 
all had survived those three years! God help and save 
Russia. ^ 75 it was very hot. I took a short walk with 
Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia, and again a whole patrol 
from the Third Infantry Regiment came along. We worked 
in the same place as before. We cut down three trees 
and finished yesterday’s fir tree. Now I am reading the 
novel by Merezhkovsky , Alexander I . 

July 20, Thursday. 

During the night a life-giving rain fell. The morning 
was foggy. During my walk I went with my daughters and 
Valya to the Arsenal, where we examined the lower floor; 
the upper one appeared locked. After breakfast it rained 

^-?5on that night, three years before, the family waited 

a long time for Nicholas to come to dinner. The Empress 
had told one of the daughters to go call her father, 
when Nicholas entered the room, looking very pale, 
and told them what had hs.ppened. The next day, the 
Tsar went to St. Petersburg, where the crowds greeted 
him with cheer after cheer. The crowds knelt as one 
man and sang "God Save the Tsar." 

The Manifesto declaring war had been read to the 
crowds. Nicholas knelt before the altar with all his 
military men surrounding him and took the following 
oath: "Officers of my guard, here present, I greet 

in you my whole army and give it my blessing. I 
solemnly swear that I will never make peace so long 
as one of the enemy is on the soil of the Fatherland. 

The Russian people, after receiving a copy of the 
oath, broke into wild, cheering, for it was the same 
one that Emperor Alexander I had taken in 1812 with 
the French invasion. Buchanan, I, 212; Paleologue, 

II, 51. 


for a while. We worked, as before, sawing up two of 
yesterday’s thick fir trees. Afterwards we all rested. 
The girls received a letter from Olga, who is in the 

July 21, Friday. 

During the morning it became an ideal day, with a wonder- 
fully moonlit night. During the morning, I waited for 
Kerensky because I wished to knoi? where we are to be 
sent and when. I took my normal walk from 11 o’clock 
to 12. Again we worked as before and finished the four , 
remaining trees. After tea I finished the first volume 
of Alexander I . Before dinner, Marie received presents. 

July 22, Saturday. 

It is the birthday of dear Mama and our Marie. The 
weather was delightful and hot. During the day we cut 
down three small trees and sawed them up and another two 
older ones which had fallen. The work was hard. At 
six o’clock we went to services and vespers. I read 
aloud as usual. Yesterday evening Kerensky suddenly came 
from the city and stopped in person. It appears that 
the whole government is falling apart; he himself has 
tendered his resignation and is awaiting a decision which 

•^?6G ran cL Duchess Olga Alexandrovna , the sister of 

Nicholas, was staying in the Crimea with her husband. 
Colonel Kulikovsky, and her mother. 


must come at the conference meeting of the different 
parties which are all meeting in the Winter Palace . ^7 

July 23 i Sunday. 

During the night it rained, and the day was considerably 
fresher. During the day we worked on the small path; we 
cut down and sawed up two small fir trees. Alix sat with 
us in the forest. After dinner, the Benckendorf couple 
visited us. During the evening The Luck of the Vails . 

June 24 , Monday . 

The day became cool and overcast. During the morning I 
took my normal walk. During lunch it rained. When we 
went out at 2:30 it was not raining. We chopped down 
four fir trees across from yesterday’s place. After 
dinner I read aloud The Poison Belt by C. Doyle. 

June 25, Tuesday. 

The new temporary government has been formed with 
Kerensky at the head. We will see if he can do any 
better {than Prince Lvov}. The first problem consists 
of the strengthening of the discipline in the army and 

^7?Kerensky, i n a move to consolidate his power, sub- 
mitted his resignation on July 21. He was being 
pressured from both the right and left. After 
resigning, he journeyed to Finland. The next day 
members of the Provisional Government sent him a 
telegram asking him to come back. By July 25, 
Kerensky was able to form a workable cabinet, showing 
a slight preponderance of Socialists over non- 
SocialistS. Browder and Kerensky, 1333* 1389 • 


building up its courage, and also in bringing the 
position of internal Russia into some sort of order. 

The Ttfeather was very warm. We chopped down four fir 
trees and sax\red up quite a few. I finished Alexander I . 
The last guard was good, thanks to the sending of 300 
men from each Infantry Regiment to the front, and thus 
there is the absence of the reserves of many drafted 
men doing nothing. 

July 26 , Wednesday. 

Again it was a startlingly hot day. On account of the 
stuffy air Alix did not go out. In the rooms it was 
considerably fresher. We sawed up and split all the 
fallen and chopped fir trees; it was hard work. 

July 27 » Thursday. 

Such enjoyable weather. Wot windy. We took a good walk 
During the day we worked near the small path and sawed 
up three trees. I read the book, The Maritime Idea in 
the Russian land by Lt. Kvashnin- Samarin. 

July 28, Friday. 

It was a wonderful day, and we took a walk with a great 
deal of pleasvire. After lunch I learned that we are 
being sent, not to the Crimea, but to one of the distant 
provincial towns three or four days* journey to the east 
But where I could not learn. The Palace Commander does 

( 121 ) 

not know. We all tried to guess. We chopped down and 
knocked over a large fir tree in the clearing near the 
path. There was a short, warm storm. During the evening 
I read aloud A Study in Scarlet by C. Doyle. 

July 29, Saturday. 

Such wonderful weather. During my morning walk, as we 
were passing by the gate of the path that leads straight 
to the greenhouse, we noticed one of the sentries asleep 
in the grass. The officer who was accompanying us went 
over and took the man* s rifle. During the day we chopped 
down nine trees and sawed up one fir tree. All of these 
were along the same path. It was steaming hot, and the 
storm clouds gathered around us and we could hear thunder; 
but toward evening the sky cleared up. After vespers, 
Alexis received presents. I packed and removed my things 
so that now the room has a deserted look. 

July 30 > Sunday. 

Today our dear Alexis turned 13 years old. May God give 
him health, patience, strength of spirit and body in 
the coming difficult times. We went to Mass and after 
lunch to the service in which they presented the image 
of the Virgin. Somehow it was especially warm to offer 
prayers to Her Holy Image together with all our dear 
people. She was brought in and taken out across the 
garden by the guards of the Third Regiment. We worked 

( 122 ) 

for a while in the clearing. We chopped down a fir tree 
and began to saw another in two. It was very hot. 
Everything is packed; now only the pictures on the walls 
remain. I saw Benckendorf until dinner, and in the 
evening I saw the commander. 

July 31 > Monday . 

It is the last day of our sojourn in Tsarskoe Selo. The 
weather became wonderful. During the day we worked in 
the same place and sawed down four trees and sawed up 
yesterday* s. After dinner, we awaited the time of our 
leaving, which keeps being put aside. Unexpectedly 
Kerensky arrived and told us we were leaving. 

l?8p re p ara t ions for the departure were kept secret. 

Most members of the Provisional Government did not know 
that a move was about to take place, for only six 
people in Petrograd knew T of it. About eleven that 
evening, Kerensky went to Tsarskoe Selo to supervise 
the departure for Tobolsk. He inspected the guards 
who had been chosen for the journey. Rumors spread 
that the Tsar x\ras leaving, and a crowd gathered around 
the palace. Nicholas was allowed to visit with his 
brother, Michael, before his departure. The brothers 
met in the Tsar’s study about midnight. They both 
appeared nervous and dejected by the events of the 
last few months. For a long time they stared at each 
other and then began to carry on a casual conversation. 
They parted with a long embrace, never to see each 
other again. 

Preparations for the trains progressed slowly, and 
the Imperial family and the servants who would travel 
along did not get on the train until daylight. After 
more farewells from those staying behind £Count 
Benckendorf was unable to go because of his advanced 
age_7 the train pulled out of the station. Kerensky, 


August 1, Tuesday. 

The whole family was lodged in a good sleeping car, with 
guards on Doth sides. I went to bed at 7-^5 (S.mTj and 
slept lightly until 9:15 [a. mj . It was very windy and 
dusty in the car. It was 2o degrees. We took a walk 
during the day with our guards and gathered flowers and 
berries. We ate in a restaurant, with food cooked by 
an excellent East Chinese cook. 

August 2, Wednesday. 

We walked and it began to rain. We had to curtain off 
all the windows in all the rooms by the order of the 
commander; this is both stupid and boring. 

August 3, Thursday. 

We came to Perm at k o* clock, and I walked with Mr, 
Kunger along the river. There was a very beautiful 

August 4, Friday. 

The train went almost to the pier, so that we only had 
to get off and go down to the ship. Our ship was called 
"Bus." They began the transfer of our things and it 
continued all night. Poor Alexis was again resting, 

God knows how. The pounding and uproar lasted all 
night and almost overcame me. They left Tiumen about 


six o ! clock . ^9 

August 5> Saturday. 

During the trip along the Tura, I slept very little. 

Alix and I had one very uncomfortable cabin, and all 
the girls were together in the fifth cabin down the 
corridor. Further toxtfard the bow was a good sitting 
room, and a small cabin with a piano. Second Class is 
under us, and this is where all the soldiers from the 
First Regiment who are traveling with us stay. All day 
we went topside, and stayed in the pleasant air. The 
■weather was overcast but dry and warm. In front of us was 
a mine sweeper and behind another steamship with the 
soldiers from the 2nd- and 4th- Infantry Regiments and 
the rest of the baggage. We stopped two hours to load 
firewood. Toward night it got cold. We have our kitchen 
staff here on the steamship. Everybody went to sleep 
early . 

August 6, Sunday. 

We navigated toward the Tobo'l. I got up late because I 
did not sleep very well with all the pounding and stopping. 
During the night we went from the Tura to the Tobol. 

^•79as the royal family transferred from the railway cars 
to the steamer, a large crowd watched in quiet respect. 
When the family passed, members in the crowd bowed and 
crossed themselves. Franklin, 139 ♦ 


The. river was wider and the banks were higher. The morning 
was fresh and during the day it got quite warm when the 
sun came out. I forgot to mention that yesterday before 
dinner we passed by the village of Pokrovskoe, the home 
of Gregory (^BasputinJ. All day we walked and sat on the 
deck. At 6:30 we came to Tobolsk, ^ ^although we could 
only see it for fifteen minutes. .On the bank many people 
were standing; that must mean that they knew about our 
arrival. remember the view over the houses and 

churches on the mountain. As soon as the ship had put 
into shore, we began to unload our baggage. Valya, the 

1 O p 

commissar, and the commander started off to examine the 
house which was our destination and the accomodations. 

On their return we learned for the first time that our 
lodgings were empty, without any furniture, dirty; and that 
we could not move in. Therefore, we had to wait back on 
the ship for them to bring in the necessary baggage for 
sleeping. We ate a little and joked about the strange 

180ipobolsk, formerly the capital of Siberia, was a town 
of 20 , 000 , more than two .hundred miles from the nearest 
railroad. With its dirt roads, wooden planks for 
sidewalks and several whitewashed churches, it looked 
like any other little Siberian town. Botkin, 156 . 

18l<phe local people appeared full of respect for their 
new neighbors. Isolated from any type of transporta- 
tion system other than the river, news traveled slowly 
and with little effect. 

^-® 20 o q one q Korovichenko was appointed Governor-General of 
the district of Kazan in which Tobolsk was located. 


inability of the people to arrange even our lodging and 
went to sleep early. 

August 7 » Monday . 

I slept well. The rain and cold had returned. We 
decided to remain on the ship. Some squalls came up, 
but at 1 o’clock the weather cleared up. The crowd 
continued to build up on the pier and the nearby bank. 
Some had their feet almost in the water and went back 
inside only when it rained. A lot of work has gone into 
both houses, cleaning and bringing the rooms into 
presentable appearance. ^^^All of us and the guards wanted 
to go some place farther up the river while we waited. 

We ate lunch at 1 o’clock and dinner at 8 o’clock. The 
kitchen in the house had already been fixed up, and our 
food was brought to us from there. All evening I went 
with the children around our cabins. The weather was 
cold, with a northwest wind. 

August 8, Tuesday. 

I slept well and got up at 9 :15. The morning was clear, 
and later the wind began to blow and again it swept up 
some squalls. After lunch we went up along the Irtysh 
Elver about ten miles. We landed on the right bank and 
went for a walk. We went through the bushes and crossed 

133The Imperial family occupied the entire first floor 
of the Governor’s mansion. The guards and some of 
the servants lived in the Kornilov House, which 
belonged to a rich merchant and faced the Governor’s 
mansion on the opposite side of the street. 

Gilliard, 240/ 

( 12 ?) 

a small stream. We climbed a small bank, from where we 
had a wonderful view. The ship came up to us, and we went 
back again to Tobolsk. We landed at 6 o* clock on the other 
pier. Until dinner I took a bath — the first since the 
31st. of July — thanks to that I slept wonderfully. 

August 9* Wednesday. 

The weather became nice and warm. During the morning as 
always a train of people came into town. Marie had a 
fever and Alexis* s left arm hurt a little. Until lunch 
I spent all my time and pleasure talking in the sunshine. 

At 2:30 our ship went to the other side of the river and 
was laying in a supply of wood, and we went for a walk. 

The walking was very hot. We came back to the ship at 
4:30 and returned to the other side. Some of the inhabi- 
tants were boat riding and sailed in front of us. The 
guards from Kronstadt went to stay in their lodgings in 
the city. 

'August 10, Thursday. 

Bad weather has returned. It vras raining, and there was 
a wind. Marie still had her fever and besides Alexis* s 
arm also hurts. During the day it was absolutely boring 
without a walk or anything to do. At 5 o* clock the 
weather cleared up again. 


August 11, Friday. 

Alexis only slept a little. During the night he moved 
in with Alix. His ear was better, and his arm only ached 
a little now and then. Marie is better. The day became 
quiet. All morning I walked around the deck. We went 
up the Tobol and put ashore on the left bank and went 
along the road and returned along the river with various 
difficulties but in a good mood. At 6 o* clock we 
returned to Tobolsk, and with a loud crash ran into the 
pier, breaking some of the railings on the side. The day 
was hot. 

August 12, Saturday. 

It was another nice day without the sun but very warm. 
During the morning I went on deck and read there until 
time for my lunch. Marie and Alexis got up and during 
the day were out in the air. At 3 o* clock we went down 
along the Irtysh; and we landed at the foot of a high 
bank, where I had wanted to climb for a long time. We 
quickly climbed it with the .guards and sat for a long 
time on a bald hill with a nice view. We returned to 
Tobolsk at tea time. 

August 13, Sunday. 

We got up a little early, and the last things were quickly 
packed. At 10:30 I went with the children, the commandant 


and the officers to our new dwelling. We surveyed the 
entire house from basement to roof. We occupied the 2nd- 
floor and the sitting room beneath it. At 12 o'clock 
the furniture arrived, and a priest sprinkled all the 
rooms with holy water. We had lunch and. dinner in our 
new house. We set about to examine the house in which 
we are living. Many of the rooms were still not furnished 
and had an unattractive look. Then we went to the so- 
called garden, a poor vegetable garden. We examined the 
kitchen and the sentry's quarters. ^Everything had a 
strange, abandoned appearance. I unpacked our things 
in the reading and dressing rooms, which are half mine 
and half Alix's. We passed the evening together. We 
plained bezlk . 

August 14, Monday. 

After yesterday's thunderstorms 'until dinner, today's 
weather was cold and rainy with a strong wind. All day 
we unpacked photographs of the journey of I 89 O-I 89 I 
[his trip around the world ] . I brought them on purpose 
so that in my spare time I coxild put them in order. 

We said goodbye to the commissar, who is leaving for 

181'The facilities were very cramped, and the family 
suffered from want of space. Ibid., 242. 

^■5 Nicholas suffered from a lack of exercise. He 

complained to Qolonel Kobylinsky, who then brought in 
some beech trunks and saws so that Nicholas could cut 
firewood. Ibid . . 242. 


Moscow. I took a walk in the garden; the children were 
sT'J’inging in the new swings. We spent the evening by 

August 1 5, Tuesday. 

Since they did not allow us to go on the streets, we 
could not go to the 11 o 1 clock service at church. 00 
After lunch we went into the garden for almost two hours; 
Alix went out, too. The weather was warm, and about 5 
o 1 clock the sun came out; we sat on the balcony until 
6 : 30 . I continued to sort the photographs of my long 

August 16, Wednesday. 

It was a nice, warm day. Wow every morning I drink tea 
together with the children. We spent an hour in the 
so-called, garden and the larger part of the day on the 
balcony, which is warm from the sun. Until tea I 
puttered around in the garden. The children played on 
the swings. 

■^^The Imperial family was not permitted to walk in the 
streets. Dr. Botkins, the family physician, wrote 
to Kerensky complaining that this practice was 
unhealthy. Kerensky sent a reply granting the 
family the privilege of walking in the streets; 
however, Pankratov felt that such privileges were 
unheard of and refused them permission. Pankratov 
declared that he was unable to control the mobs, 
which harbored a deep hatred for the family. Far 
from showing any hatred, the citizens of Tobolsk 
doffed their hats and sent presents to the Tsar and 
his family. Botkin, 157-158. 


August 17, Thursday. 

It was a wonderful day — in the shade 19 degrees and 
on the balcony 36 degrees. Alexis's arm hurt. During 
the morning we spent an hour in the garden and during 
the afternoon two hours. Yesterday I began to read 
L' i 1 e enchant be . During the evening we played dominoes, 
Alix, Tatiana, Botkin, and I. During tea time, a large 
thunderstorm came up. It was a moonlit night. 

August 18 , Friday I 

The morning was overcast and cold; about one o'clock the 
sun came out and the day became nice. Alexis got up. 
During the evening Khitrovna appeared; she came from 
Petrograd and visited Nastenki Gendrikov, and they had 
to search for him. The devil knows what happened. 

August 19 , Saturday . 

On account of yesterday's incident Nastenki was deprived 
of the right of walking on the streets for a few days, and 
poor Khitrovna had to go back again on the evening ship. 
The weather became nice, with a hot sun. During the 
morning we went and sat in the garden for an hour and 
for two hours in the afternoon. I made a swinging bench 
in the garden for myself. I began the book The Scarlet 



August 20, Sunday. 

It was ideal weather. During the day the temperature 
went down to 21 degrees in the shade. At 11 o’clock we 
had church services in the hall. I went out into the 
garden to work. I chopped down a dry pine tree. After 
tea, as on all these days, I read to my daughters on the 
balcony under the burning rays of the sun. The evening 
was warm and moonlit. 

August 21, Monday. 

With delight we sunbe.thed all day on the balcony and in 
the garden. During the day I chopped down a dry birch 
tree and cut it into firewood. During tea a thunderstorm 
came up and brought a little fresh air. I began to read 
In the Forest by Pechersky. 

August 22, Tuesday. 

Such a, nice day. An annoying wind made it impossible 
to take a walk along the banks of the rivei^ or in the 
forest. We read on the balcony and passed three hours in 
the garden. In the evening,' as usual, we played dominoes. 

187The religious services were at first held in the house in 
a large hall on the first floor. The priest of the Church 
of the Annunciation, his deacons and four nuns from the 
Ivanovsky Convent were allowed to attend. With no conse- 
crated altar, Mass could not be held; and this troubled 
the family. Gilliard, 241. 

188Qj_ nner Was served at half-past seven. After the meal games 
were organized to break the monotony. Often Nicholas read 
aloud while the C-rahd Duchesses did needlework. Alexandria 
listened to her husband and joined in the games. Ibid . . 243. 


August 23s Wednesday. 

Today it has been two years since I went to Moghilev.^9 
Much water has passed under the bridge since then. The 
day became excellent. Twenty-three degrees in the shade. 
The day passed as before. We dug beds for the garden. 
There was a warm cloud burst. 

ilugust 2^, Thursday. 

It was o. nice day. V. N. Derevenko and his family arrived 
and that was the biggest thing that had happened for days. 
Unf ortunately , bad news from the front was confirmed. 

We learned that Riga still stood but that our army had 
retreated far into the northeast .190 

Augtist 25, Friday. 

The weather was warm, with a strong eastern breeze. My 
walk in the garden was incredibly boring; here I feel much 
more strongly in seclusion than I was in Tsarskoe Selo. 

•^9 On August 23, 1915, Nicholas issued the following 
Manifesto : 

"Today I have assumed the command of all the mili- 
tary and naval forces operating in the theatre of war. 

"With firm trust in divine mercy and unshakable 
confidence in ultimate victory, we shall fulfill our 
sacred duty of defending our country to the death, and 
we will" never allow Russian soil to be dishonored." 
Paleologue, II, 70* 

190ih e retreat of the army bothered not only Nicholas, but 
also the Supreme Commander, General Kornilov. Incapable 
of telling shades of political difference, he looked 
suspiciously at the Socialists and Bolsheviks and 
planned to "hang them all." Wren, 5^0. 

(l 34) 

I worked in the flower beds. During the evening it 

August 2 6, Saturday. 

After a good rain during the night , the weather changed 
again for the better. I read to the children until time 
for our walk, and then before lunch and after tea I worked 
in the garden. Alix continued to have a fever and an 
earache, but during theiday she went out for a little 
while. Prom the front there is little news. By the time 
the newspapers get here they are six days old. -^91 

August 2 6 , Sunday . 

Today it was a little fresher. At 11 o , clock church 
services were held. We all liked the priest very much 
who offered the services for us and the four nuns who 
helped. Alix continued to stay in bed for reasons of 

August 28, Monday. 

This morning I learned of the death of E. Tatishchev 

from his son, who had received a telegram eight days 


after his father* s death. The weather was fresh but 

l9lThere was an almost complete absence of news in 

Tobolsk. Letters arrived very irregularly and after 

long delays. The family read the local newspaper, which 

was printed on packing paper and often wrong. Gilliard, 243. 

^■^General Tatishchev, in the War, represented Nicholas at 
the German Court, then became his aide-de-camp and 
followed him into exile, Letters , 304. 

( 135 ) 

overcast. Alix got up and walked around her room. The 
girls also had colds, but they went out into the garden. 
Naturally no one was sitting on the balcony. I read a 

August 29, Tuesday. 

Today it has been ten years since we engraved the stone 
(^dedicated} on the Standard . ^9 ^Alexis slept only a little 
during the night, and he moved in with Alix. His ear 
was better, and his arm only ached a little now and then. 
Marie is better. The day was quiet. All morning I walked 
around trying to keep active. During the day vie went along 
the Tobol River. We put ashore on the left bank. We went 
up the river by road and came back down by boat. There 
were some difficulties, but the whole day put me in a 
good mood. 

August 30 , Wednesday. 

At 11 o* clock Mass was held. During the day we all took 
a walk in the garden. The weather got a little warmer, 
but in the evening it rained. The day passed as usual. 
After dinner we plained dice. 

August 31 , ' Thursday . 

The day passed as usual. 

I93ihe Standard replaced the Imperial yacht Polar Star . 


September 1, Friday. 

The new co mmi ssar, Pankratov, arrived with his assistant 
sent by the Provisional Government, and they set up their 
residence in a suite of the house. The assistant is a 
disheveled ensign, apparently either a worker or a poor 
teacher. He is the censor of our correspondence."^^ 

The day became rainy and chilly. 

194iphe Commissar Pankratov and his assistant , Ensign 
Nikolsky, were both members of the Socialist Revo- 
lutionary Party. They were instructed to allay 
extremist criticism that the Tsar and his family 
were being "treated with undue leniency. Pankratov, 
hardly likely to be well disposed to the family, had 
killed a policeman while defending a woman. For this 
crime he had been in jail for fifteen years and then 
exiled to the Yakut country, where he had lived for 
twenty-seven more years. Regardless of his crime, 
Pankratov had an easy- going manner and a weak character. 
Nicholas referred to him as the "little man." 

Nikolsky, whom Pankratov had met -.-during his 
exile, vias a different type of man. Embittered, ill- 
mannered, obstinate and vindictive, he was an impassioned 
revolutionary who was appalled by the casual and friendly 
relations between the Tsar and his guards. He lectured 
the soldiers upon the iniquities of the Tsarist regime. 
Many of the guards found it hard to act in the manner 
upon which Nikolsky insisted. This brought about a 
general collapse of military discipline, and Colonel 
Kobylinsky found himself without effective authority. 
Nikolsky insisted that the house arrest be changed to 
one of a real prison. The privileges of the family 
were withdrawn and eventually they could not even go 
to church. Their movements were constantly watched, 
with more petty regulations thrust upon them every day. 
The Tsar lost the use of his dagger, the children could 
not use the snow slide, and the soldiers began cursing 
in the presence of the whole family. The soldiers 
acted like criminals, especially after the pay whi ch 
Kerensky had promised did not arrive. Botkin, 159-160; 
Franklin, 141-143. 


September 2, Saturday. 

The weather was clear and warm. I began to walk in 
the fenced yard in front of the house was better 
here than in the damp garden because here the sun shines 
all day. I climbed with the children on the roof of the 
greenhouse. In the evening I read aloud The Ninth 
Ram-part by Danilevsky. 

September 3» Sunday. 

It was a nice warm day. Mass x*Jas at 11 o’clock. We took 
a walk both during the morning and during the day. During 
the morning I finished the book In the Forest and began 
On the Mountain; they were both well written. 

September 4, Monday. 

It was a splendid bright day. There was much in the air. 
The last f ew days have brought a great deal of unpleasant- 
ness, owing to the absence of proper sewage facilities. 

The lower W.C. is filled with waste from the upper W.C.; 
therefore, we had to refrain from visiting the upper one 
and abstain from bathing; all this because the cesspool 
pit was too small and because nobody wanted to clean it. 

I asked E. S. Botkin to bring this to the attention of 
the commissar, Pankratov, who came and was dismayed at 

cut-off portion of the street, it had been converted 
into a yard by surrounding it with an eight-foot- 
high wooden fence. Botkin, 157. 


the state of things. 

September 5> Tuesday. 

Telegrams arrive here twice a day; many of them are 
composed so obscurely that it is difficult to understand 
them. Evidently in Petrograd there is great confusion. 
Again there has been a change in the staff of the 
government. Evidently no one escapes from the enter- 
prises of General Kornilov; he himself sides part of the 
time with the generals and officers who are prisoners 

to their own army and part of the time with the army. 


He goes to Petrograd and. then leaves again. The weather 
became wonderfully hot. 

September 6, Wednesday. 

It was a very nice day and all went well. We dug dams 
across the rows in the garden. The girls played "bumble 
puppy. " 

^°General Kornilov expressed his desire that the Soviets 
should be pushed aside and all the Socialist'©- and 
Bolsheviks hanged. In the early hours of August 27 , 
Kornilov declared martial, law and announced his 
intention to march on Petrograd. Kerensky relieved 
him from the office of Supreme Commander, but Kornilov 
continued his march. The coup collapsed, for he 
failed to win the support of the troops and the other 
generals. By the afternoon of August 29 the situation 
was under control. On August 30 , Kerensky appointed 
himself Supreme Commander. Nicholas supported Kornilov, 
for he felt he was the only hope against the Bolsheviks. 
Gilliard, 2b3; Kerensky, 350-352. 


September ?, Thursday. 

The morning was cloudy and windy; afterwards the weather 
cleared up. There was a 'lot in the air. We filled the 
rows in the garden from the pond and cut firewood for 
our baths. 

September 8, Friday. 

For the first time we attended church. It was at the 
Church of the Annunciation, over which our old priest 
served. ^^The pleasure was- spoiled for me by the idiotic 
conditions which took place during our procession there. 
Along the road through the village where there was nobody, 
guards were set up, but at the church there was a huge 
crowd of people. This bothered me a great deal. The 
weather became fine, not too cool. 

September 9» Saturday. 

During the night and during the morning it rained and a 
cold wind was blowing. About 3 o T clock the sun came 
out from behind the clouds. I paced a lot up and down 
the yard. During the evening while we played dominoes 
and bezik , Botkin read aloud The Ninth Wave . 

September 10, Sunday. 

The morning was clear, but towards midday it rained. 

^9?0n the festival of the Nativity of the Virgin, 

Pankratov allowed the family to attend a church 
service; however, this practice was not often 
repeated. Gilliard, 241. 

(140 )' 

The service of the Mass was held at home. I went into 
the backyard and then into the garden about 2 o'clock. 
During the evening Valya read aloud quite well and 

September 11, Monday. 

Again it was a nice sunny day, during which everything 
xtfent as usual. 

September 12, Tuesday. 

The weather was warm and overcast. During the day I cut 
firewood, and the girls played on the wooden bridge with 
tennis balls. 

September 13, Wednesday. 

It rained for half the day but it was warm. I finished 
the book On the Mountain and began a novel by Leskov. At 
9 o'clock in the evening, church services were held for 
us in the hall. We went to bed early. 

September 1L, Thursday. 

In order to avoid the crowds of people in the streets 
and at the church we asked for Mass to be held at 8 
o’clock. Everything went well; the sentries were 
arranged along the fence of the village park. The 
weather became bad — cold and damp — but we still 
took a lot of walks. They permitted Kola Derevenko to 


come to see Alexis. 

September 1 5, Friday. 

It was a nice clear autumn day; it went like all the 
other days. 

September 16, Saturday. 

The weather became quite warm. It was pleasant to walk 
and work in the backyard. I finished the story 
Oboidennie and began reading The Islander . 

September 17, Sunday. 

It itfas a nice warm day, 13 degrees in the shade. After 
Mass we xtfalked, and during the day we stayed out in the 
fresh air for a long time. Olga was bedridden with a 
light fever. Tatishchev was also not well. 

September 18, Monday. 

Autumn this year has been remarkable here; today it was 
18 degrees in the shade and the air was quite warm, much 
like the south. During the day I talked with Bali in the 
garden, in which nothing has - grown for many years. Olga, 
who is sick, cane out and sat on the balcony for a long 
time with Alix.^^Slif inished The Islanders by Leskov. 

1 9 8 The son of Dr. Derevenko was permitted to play with 
Alexis. Ibid., 256 . 

A1 exandra, who constantly complained of a heart con- 
dition and was usually transported by a wheelchair, 
seldom came downstairs or went outside. She never 
rose before lunch and usually ate upstairs with her 
son. Franklin, 140. 


I wrote a letter to Mama and gave it to the censor, 

September 19, Tuesday. 

It was half clear but a rather warm day. About 12 o T clock 
a short, light rain fell. Anastasia was bedridden. 
Tatishchev was a little better. During the day I cut 
up firewood and passed the time in the garden. I began 
to read the novel Nowhere by Leskov. 

September 20, Wednesday. 

The weather suddenly changed. A storm blew in with rain 
and afterwards it turned to sleet and finally snow. We 
spent a lot more time walking back and forth in the back- 
yard. The girls got better, but they still had to remain 
at home. 

September 21, Thursday. 

During the night everything became covered with snow. 

But by 12 o’clock everything had melted. I chopped fire- 

September 22, Friday. 

During the morning a lot of snow fell again. The weather 
was overcast toward evening. We took a walk at 2 o’clock 
as ’-usual. The other day our good Baron Bode arrived 
with a cargo of some of our things from Tsarskoe Selo. 


September 23 » Saturday. 

Among the things that he brought were three or four boxes 
of wine, which the soldiers of the detachment saw and 
then started arguing over. They began to demand the 
destruction of all the bottles in the Kornilovsky house. 
After a long admonition on the part of the commissar, it 
was decided that all the wine be taken out and poured into 
the Irtysh. The departure of the cart with the boxes of 
wine, on which sat the commissar with an axe in his hand 
and all the armed soldiers behind, we saw from the window 
before tea. During the evening it rained; and after an 
hour it cleared up, and the weather became nice with 
about 11 degrees in the shade. 

September 24, Sunday. 

Following last week’s incident in church, they wanted to 
avoid any excitement and Mass was held for us at home. 

The day became cool — 11 degrees in the shade with a 
wind. We went for a long walk and I played for a while 
with Olga in the garden and then chopped wood. During 
the evening I began to read aloud The Engraved Angel . 

September 25, Monday. 

It was nice weather, 14 degrees above frost in the shade. 
During our walk the Commissar, his foul assistant 
commissar, Ensign Nikolsky, and three sentries searched 


our house looking for wine. Not finding any, they came 
out in half an hour and left. After tea we began to 
move our things which had arrived from Tsarskoe Selo. 

September 26, Tuesday. 

It was such a cool day without any clouds. I took a 
walk in the morning and read on the balcony until lunch. 
During the day I chopped wood and passed the time in the 
garden. After tea I took the rugs which had arrived and 
placed them in our rooms. I finished the novel Nowhere 
by Leskov. 

September 27. Wednesday. 

The vjeather was cool, 14 degrees in the shade. I began 
to read Ramuntcho by R. Loti. 

September 28, Thursday. 

Since the beginning of the week I have continued the 
history and geography lessons with Alexis. The weather 
was beautiful. Much was in the air. 

September 29. Friday. * 

Several days ago E. S. Botkin received papers from 
Kerensky, which we knew of, that gave us permission to 
walk in the city. Botkin asked when we could begin this 
and Pankratov, the rascal, answered that now he could not 
talk about walks because of some misunderstood fear for 

(1 45) 

our safety. Everyone was very indignant about this 
answer. The weather became cooler. I finished 
Ramuntcho . 

September 30 > Saturday. 

The day became sunny and fine. During the morning we 
walked for an hour and during the afternoon for two and 
a half hours. I played with the children in the garden 
and also chopped wood. I began to read the fifth volume 
of Leskov; it certainly is a long story. At 9 o'clock 
vespers was held for us. In the evening Baron Bode left. 

October 1, Sunday. 

We got up at 7 o'clock before services and today we went 
to Mass. After the second tea we took a long walk; the 
weather became wonderful, but with a wind from the west. 
During the day I puttered around in the garden for a long 
time. I learned from a telegram that the enemy has made 
further advances. 

October 2, Monday. 

It was a warm day; about 4 o'clock a short rain fell. 

Now all of us want to take a walk, but we are obliged 
to go around town accompanied by the sentries. 

October 3> Tuesday. 

The weather was absolutely like August — 13 degrees in 


the shade hut in the sun on the balcony it went up to 
29 degrees. The day passed as usual. During the evening 
I read aloud the story The Robbery by Leskov. 

October 4, Wednesday. 

We remembered today the holiday of last year which we 
spent in the Crimea. It was warmer in Tobolsk than it 
was in the Crimea that dayi The day passed as usual. 

After vespers, Alexis received presents. We ate dinner 
at 7:30. 

October 5> Thursday. 

On Alexis* s name day we did not go to church because of 
the stubbornness of Pankratov, but at 11 o* clock church 
services were held here. During the morning a fog came 
in which lasted until one o* clock. For a long time we 
stayed out in the fresh air. During the evening Alexis 
showed us motion pictures. 

October 6, Friday. 

It was a clear, cold day. I learned of the arrival yester- 
day of Mr. Gibbs, but I still have not seen him, probably 
because he brought some things and letters which have 
not been inspect ed. 2 ^I began the sixth volume of Leskov. 

20°The arrival of Mr. Gibbs, a tutor of the Tsarevich, 
greatly pleased Nicholas, who pumped him for all 
outside information. 


October 7, Saturday. 

During the night it went down 9 degrees. The day was 
clear but fairly cold, especially on the hands. Finally 
Dir. Gibbs appeared, who told us much of interest about 
life in Petrograd. At nine o’clock vespers was held 
for us. 

October 8, Sunday. 

At 8 o’clock we went to Mass. All morning it was snowing; 
it was not too cold during the day although it went down 
to one degree. We took a walk until and after breakfast. 

I read for a long time. I laid down fox* an hour or so 
until dinner time. In the evening we played bezik . 

October 9> Monday. 

It is still snowing; during the day it got nicer. 

Toward evening it went down to nine degrees. During the 
day I went with the children to the wooden bridge for a 
walk. We could hear the whistle of a steamship. 

October 10, Tuesday. 

The weather became pleasant, about one degree above frost. 
Klavakia Mikhailovna Bitner, who came here two days ago, 
gave me a letter from Ksenin. Today she started to take 

2^1. K, 1*1. Bitner was a nurse and tutor. 

(148 ) 

care of the children. 

October 11, Wednesday. 

It thawed and the day became clear, almost like spring. 

I began to read La Reine Margot . Tatishchev is again 
sick and has lain down. 

October 12, Thursday. 

It was a nice sunny day, after a light, cold night. We 

have started taking our walks again at 4 o’clock since 


the children have an added number of lessons. 

October 13, Friday. 

It has already been two months that we have lived in this 
house. It was a wonderful ,, sunny day and it passed as 

October 14, Saturday. 

During the night it was six degrees above frost, and in 

the morning it was foggy. It was nice weather at noon, 

for it went up to 13 degrees in the sun; but in the 

evening it was cold again. 'At 9 o’clock vespers. 

202 Lessons began at 9 o’clock in the morning and were 
recessed at 11 for an hour’s walk. As there were 
no class rooms, the lessons were given in the large 
hall on the first floor or in Alexis’s room. As 
the days became shorter the lessons were held in the 
afternoon. Ibid . , 242. 


October 15 » Sunday. 

At 8 o* clock we went to Mass. The morning was very nice; 
and then it got cloudy. The day became miserable. In 
the evening we watched motion pictures. 

October 16, Monday. 

It was a very overcast day without thawing. I finished 
La Reine Margot . In the evening, as usual, we played 

October 17, Tuesday. 

Tx-jenty-nine years have passed from the day of our sal- 
vation from the train wreck; no one here other than myself 

•was in it. -'I began the eighth volume of Leskov. Alexis 
receives lessons from me only in Russian history, for 
3itner is teaching him Russian geography. Kastritsky^ 1 ^ 
arrived from the Crimea. 

October 18, Wednesday. 

Finally the sun came out , the day was fine and the snow 
melted. During the evening I read aloud The Marriage 
by Gogol. 

203i’his was the wreck in which Alexander III put the 
strain on his kidneys from which he died six years 
lat er . 

20 ^Kastritsky was the dentist of the Imperial family 
who carried news of the family as he traveled from 
residence to residence. Letters , 303 • 


October 19, Thursday. 

It was warm, with a wet snow falling. Before breakfast 
I sat for a Xtfhile with Kastritsky. I read for awhile. 
During the evening I began to read aloud Dracula . 

October 20, Friday. 

Today is already the 23rd- anniversary of the death of 
dear Papa. Such circumstances he never lived to see! 

God, how trying for poor. Russia! In the evening before 
dinner we attended vespers. 

October 21, Saturday. 

During the morning we saw from the window a procession 
with the body of one of the infantrymen of the ^th. 
Battalion. In front of the procession was a bad per- 
formance by a small group of gymnasts. At 11 o'clock 
church services were held for us. Until tea time I sat 
with Kastritsky. At 9 o'clock we went to vespers and 
then we went to confession. We went to bed early. 

October 22, Sunday. 

At 8 o'clock we went to Mass and the whole family received 
the Eucharist. It was a very sincere and consoling 
experience. The weather grew mild but it snowed all 
day. For a long time we worked in the garden. 

October 23, Monday. 

The morning was clear and fine. I began the ninth 


volume of Leskov. Today is the 2?th anniversary of my 
departure on the overseas voyage. 

October 24, Tuesday. 

It was a very nice sunny day. Very much was in the air. 
Until tea time I gave a history lesson to Alexis. 

October 25 » Wednesday. 

It was another wonderful day but slightly colder. During 
the morning I showed Kastritsky all our rooms. During 
the day I chopped wood. 

October 26, Thursday. 

Prom 10 o* clock to 11 o 1 clock I was with Kastritsky. 
During the evening I said goodbye to him. He left for 
the Crimea. The day became nice; in the sun it was 11 
degrees. For a long time I chopped firewood. 

October 2?, Friday. 

It was a wonderful sunny day. During the day I helped 
three infantrymen dig holes for the erection of poles 
for the new shed. I was covered with sweat. I wrote 
to Mama. 

October 28, Saturday. 

It was nice weather — four degrees above frost during 
the night and up to 10 degrees above frost during the 
day. We walked a long time and I chopped firewood for 
a long time. 


October 29, Sunday. 

We got up at 7 o* clock when it was still completely dark 
and at 8 o’clock we went to Mass. After the second tea 
we took a walk. The weather was mild and overcast. I 
wrote to Olga jjG : rand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, sister 
of NicholasJ. I began the tenth volume of Leskov. 

Today we repaired a collection of things donated by the 
people for use of the army on the front. 

October 30 » Monday. 

The day went as usual; the weather was warm. During the 
evening I finished aloud Dracula in Russian. 

October 3-1 » Tuesday. 

It was another mild day and thawing during the day. At 
4:30 I gave a history lesson to Alexis. During the evenin 
I read aloud Sea Stories by Belomov. 

November 1, Wednesday. 

During the night a lot of snow fell but during the day 
it almost all melted. We stocked firewood in the nex'T 
shed — it was dirty work. I began the book I Will Repay 
and a continuation of the Scarlet Pimpernel ! 

November 2, Thursday. 

Suddenly during the night it turned cold, going down in 
the morning to one degree below frost. During the day 


it was sunny with a north wind. We took a walk as 
always; during the day we carried in more firewood. In 
the evening Olga received modest presents. 

November 3> Friday. 

Dear Olga turned 22 years old today; it is a pity that 
the poor child had- to spend her birthday in the present 
surroundings . At 12 o*clock services were held for us. 
The weather was again mild. I chopped firewood. I 
began an interesting book. The Elusive Pimpernel . 

November 4, Saturday. 

During the morning I was cheered by a letter from Kseny. 
A lot of snow fell. I cleared a path for my walk and 
during the day stacked firewood in the shed. It has 
already been two days since any telegrams have come 
into the station; it must be that no important events 
have occurred in the large cities. At 9 o* clock vespers 
was held. 

November 5> Sunday . 

We went to Mass in the dark. I wrote a letter to Kseny. 
During the morning it rained. During the day we stacked 
firewood. I rested before dinner. 

November 6 , Monday . 

It was a Hussar holiday. I began a new book, Fire in the 

Stubble . During the morning it was snowing and it 

( 15*0 

warmed up until 8 o T clock in the evening. A strong wind 
blew for axvhile and after dinner it went up to 13 degrees 
above frost and the barometer went down to 7335. 

November 7» Tuesday. 

It was a sunny day, 14 degrees of frost. During the day 
until tea I gave Alexis a lesson in Russian history. 

During the evening we played bezik and I read aloud two 
stories by Belomov. 

November 8, Wednesday. 

It was a nice cold day. During the morning it itfas 14 
degrees £i.e. , 14 degrees "of frost," or 14 below 
freezing, or 18 degrees F^j and toward evening it was 17 
degrees of frost. I took a walk and brought in firewood. 

November 9> Thursday. 

During the morning at 8 o* clock I gave a lesson to Alexis. 

During the day vie brought in all the firewood to the 


shed and finally filled it. -'The weather was milder. 

I began to read 1793 by Victor Hugo. 

November 10, Friday. 

It was a warm day. It went up to zero degrees jji.e., 

32 degrees f/|. During the day I chopped firewood. 

205There was a great need for firewood. The house was 
extremely primitive, with no central heating system. 


I finished the first volume of 1793 by Victor Hugo. 

During the evening I read aloud Sketches of a Sportsman 
by Turgenev. 

November 11, Sattirday. 

A lot of snow fell. For a long time no newspapers from 
Pet ro grad have arrived, neither have any telegrams. 

In such difficult times this is terrifying. UQ The girls 
were playing on the swings and jumping down on each 
other in a heap of snow. Vespers was at 9 o* clock. 

November 12, Sunday. 

At 8 o T clock we went to Mass. I took a long walk. The 
day was not very cold. I began General History by Jaeger. 

November 13 , Monday. 

There was a very big thaw, up to three degrees and this 
in Siberia! Finally a telegram from the army arrived, but 
not from Petrograd. 

November 14 , Tuesday. 

Today was the 23rd anniversary of our x^edding! At 12 
o* clock services were held; the choir got confused and 
went astray. It must be that they had not been practicing. 
The weather was sunny, warm and with gusts of wind. After 
tea, I re-read my last diary. It was a pleasant occupation. 

^O^Nicholas did not know that the Bolshevik Revolution 
had taken place in Petrograd. 


November 15 » Wednesday. 

The day was cold and sunny. Outside it was unbelievably 
slippery. I took a. long walk and chopped firewood. 

November 16 , Thursday. 

For 2k hours there was a storm and it did not let up 
once. During the morning I ga/ve a lesson to Alexis. 

November 17, Friday. 

It was such unpleasant weather with a piercing wind. It 

was disheartening to read in the paper accounts about 

what happened two weeks ago in Petrograd and Moscow. It 


was a very bad and disgraceful event. ' 

2°?0n October 10, 1917 (O.S.) the Central Committee of 
the Bolshevik Party met in secret session to map out 
their strategy. After long debate Lenin convinced the 
others that the time was right for a Bolshevik take- 
over and plans were Although their plans became 
known, no steps were taken by the Provisional Govern- 
ment to prevent it. On October 22, the Military 
Revolutionary Committee, controlled by the Bolsheviks, 
instructed the Petrograd Garrison to obey only their 
orders. The Provisional Government decided to take 
repressive steps. The Bolshevik newspaper would be 
suppressed, the leaders arrested, the Military Rev- 
olutionary Committee dissolved and loyal troops called 
to Petrograd to support the Provisional Government. 
These, plans were not carried out and Kerensky was 
forced to flee in a car belonging to Secretary White- 
house of the American Embassy. Steps were taken to 
restore the city to order, but they failed and at 
ten o* clock in the morning of October 25, the Military 
Revolutionary Committee issued the following triumphant 
message : 

"The Provisional Government is overthrown. State 
power has passed into the hands of the organ of the 
Petrograd Soviet of Workers 1 and Soldiers* Deputies — 


November 18, Saturday. 

Disheartening news was received that about three envoys 
from our Fifth Army had gone over to the Germans at 
Dvinsk and had written the preliminary conditions of an 
armistice with them. 20 ^ 

November 19 , Sunday . 

At 8:30 we went to Mass and the raod was very slippery. 

the Military Revolutionary Committee, which stands at 
the head of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison. 

"The cause for which the people fought — immediate 
proposal of a democratic peace, abolition of landlords* 
property rights in land, workers* control over pro- 
duction, the creation of a Soviet Government — this 
cause is assured. 

"Long live the Revolution of the workers, soldiers 
and peasants." 

The Bolsheviks won the battle in Petrograd by 
firing a few artillery shells. Although opposition in 
Moscow was more intense, the city fell after a week of 
fighting. The Bolsheviks controlled only a small part 
of the former Empire, but they did control the two 
political centers. 

The following day the Congress of Soviets renounced 
the war and made it clear to the belligerents that 
Russia was withdrawing from the war. Chamberlin, I, 
306-319; Trotsky, III, 29^-32 5; Wren, 5^9-55 1. 

2< ^®0n November 11, General N. N. Dukhonin, who was the 
actual Commander-in-chief of the army (Kerensky merely 
bore the formal title), received a message from General 
Boldirev, commander of the Fifth Army to the effect 
that Krilenko, who was an ensign and had been appointed 
Commander-in-chief by the Bolshevik government, had 
arrived at his section of the front and was about to 
carry out peace negotiations; Boldirev added; "Not 
possessing force I cannot interfere with him; even 
the more tranquil units in such case will refuse to 
maintain neutrality," Chamberlin, I, 3^'-3^6» 


The morning was sunny and then it got oloudy. During 
the day I carried firewood into the shed. In the eve- 
ning as always we played bezik . 

November 20 , Monday . 

The cold grew stronger and during' the day it got clear. 
The guards were restless because they had not received 
their wages from Petrograd. ^%!his was quickly brought 
to an end by borrowing the necessary sum from a bank. 
During the day I worked on the firewood. At 9 o* clock 
vespers was over. 

November 21, Tuesday. 

The holiday of the introduction to the Temple passed 
without service because Pankratov was disagreeable about 
allowing us to celebrate it. The weather was warm. 
Everyone worked outside. 

November 22, Wednesday. 

I did not feel quite well; my head hurt and I had pain 
along different joints; therefore, I stayed in the house. 
The weather was sunny as if on purpose. I finished the 
first volume of General History by Jaeger. It was a very 

2 °9p a yment of the guards was always a chronic problem 
for Pankratov and Nikolsky; however, by the end of 
February, Lenin assured the guards they would be paid 
and raised their pay from fifty kopeks a day to three 
roubles. This made Bolsheviks out of the lot. 
Franklin, 1^3. 


well-compiled book. 

November 23 » Thursday. 

I felt a little better and was without fever; I did 
not go outside into the air. From a book I made a 
list of my roles for our coming presentation of the 
French play, !!Les Deux Timides." Toward evening I 
finished that task — it took one and a half writing 

November 24, Friday. 

I had a headache for half the day, particularly when I 
was reading. I sat in the house. The weather was 
unattractive. I began to read the second volume of 
General History by Jaeger, The Middle Ages . During the 
evening as usual I played bezik for a little while with 
Tatiana and read aloud from Turgenev. 

November 25 , Saturday . 

It was a nice cold day. During the day I finally went 
outside and took a walk and chopped wood for a little 
while. The sun shone and warmed things up, especially 
in the rooms. At 9 o* clock we attended vespers. 

November 2 6 , Sunday. 

At 8 o* clock we went to Mass . Today is a Georgian 
holiday. The citizens gave a dinner and other amuse- 
ments for the cavalry in their homes. But in the staff 


of our infantry guards from the Second Battalion there 
were very few Georgian cavalrymen whose friends were not 
cavalrymen and did not want to change, but they were 
forced to go with the people to services — such a day I 
Freedom! it We took a long walk and the weather was mild.. 

November 27, Monday. 

The holiday of the Crosses. Where are they and what 
about them? It was sunny and cold weather, 13 degrees of 
frost during the day and 18 degrees of frost toward evening. 

I walked only back and forth. I moved the divan into the 
hall from the corner by the wall. 

November 28, Tuesday. 

It was cold sunny weather and the day passed quickly as 
always. From 4 o* clock to 5 o 1 clock I was occupied with 
Alexis. After tea, we all read together our parts in 
“Les deux ' timides." Tatiana, Anastasia, Valya and Mr. 
Gilliard were present. 

November 29, Wednesday. 

The cold had decreased but today was overcast. I felt 
as though my head cold had completely passed. 

November 30* Thursday. 

It was a nice clear day, eight degrees of frost. From 

II o* clock until lunch I was occupied with Alexis. 

During the day I piled firewood in the shed. After tea 

( 161 ) 

Olga was playing cards with Alix and she showed four 
bezikes . 

December 1, Friday and December 2, Saturday. 

Both days went absolutely the same. It was fairly cold 
but the sun was out. After my daily walk both days we 
got together with Mr. Gilliard and practiced our roles 
and rehearsed aloud. Vespers was at 9 o* clock. 

December 3* Sunday. 

Alix and Alexis did not go with us to Mass because of the 
cold. It was 16 degrees of frost. All morning we 
rehearsed our parts in the hall, where with the help of 
a great many people the scenes and all the furniture 
were placed like it would be on the stage. During the 
evening it was all taken away again. I took a walk 
while it was light. During bezik I read aloud The Day 
Before by Turgenev. 

December k t Monday. 

It was not quite as cold as yesterday. The day went as 

December 5» Tuesday. 

It appears to be turning colder; it was 15 degrees of 
frost in the morning and went down to 20 toward evening. 
Until tea time I was occupied with Alix. Vespers was at 
9 o* clock. 

( 162 ) 

December 6, Wednesday. 

My name day passed quietly and not as it had in other 


times. At 12 o'clock services were held. The infantry- 
men from the 4th. Battalion congratulated me in the 
garden and I them on a Battalion holiday. I received 
three birthday pies and one from the guards. During the 
evening Marie, Alexis and Mr. Gilliard played very well 

the small parts in the play, "Le eluide John.*' It was 

^ 211 
very funny. 

December 7» Thursday. 

The cold went down to 22 degrees with a strong wind which 
cut the face; it was not a much better condition when I 
went out in the morning and in the evening. In my study 
and in the hall with the girls it was very cold, 10 
degrees. Therefore, during the day and until night I sat 
with my Circassian coat wrapped around me. I finished 
the second volume of General History . 

December 8, Friday. 

During the morning on my walk I saw two infantrymen of 

210Grand Duchess Tatiana described in a letter to Anna 

Viroubova, dated December 9» the events of her father* s 
name day: "We had to have home service on the 6th 

(St. Nicholas's day), and it was sad on such a big 
holiday, not to be in church, but one can*t have every- 
thing one wants, can one?" Viroubova, 3 07* 

^-^In a letter dated December 8, Alexandra described the 
play to Viroubova: "On the 6th. Alexis, Marie, and 

Gilik (Mr. Gilliard) acted a little play for us. The 
others are committing to memory scenes from French 
plays." Ibid. , 302. 


the First Battalion coming from Tsarskoe Selo in order 
to verify the truth of rumors concerning us and about 
the detachment here. One of these infantrymen had 
served in our house. It was clear and 21 degrees of frost. 

December 9, Saturday. 

The day went as usual. The weather was quiet and toward 
evening the cold began to decrease. But in my study it 
did not change and the temperature remained constant at 
10 degrees of frost. Vespers was held in the evening. 

December 10, Sunday. 

At 8 o* clock we went to our church for Mass. The weather 
was by comparison clear and mild, 10 degrees of frost. 
Until lunch I was at the dentist's, Mr. Rendl. Before 
tea we were very happy to receive the first letter from 
dear Mama . ^ 2 

212 In a letter written at Aitodor in the Crimea on November 
21, 1917, Marie sent the last letter her son would 
receive from her. The letter read in part: 

»My Dear Nicky, — I have received 7 /our letter of 
October 27th, which ftas filled me with joy... I think 
of you by day and night and sometimes feel so sick at 
heart that I believe I cannot bear it any longer. But 
God is merciful — He will give us strength for this 
terrible ordeal. . .Misha has also written to me about 
last meeting in the presence of witnesses. . .and 
ox your ghastly and revolting departure. .. I am sorry 
you are not allowed to go for XTalks. I know how 
necessary it is for you and the dear children: it is 
an incomprehensible cruelty! 

^' e i 1 * Unae:rst ? 1 J how y° u enjoy re-reading 

your old letters and -diaries, although these memories 
01 a happy past rouse deep sorrow in the heart. I 
have not even got that consolation, for mine were 
taken away from me in the spring when they searched 


December 11, Monday. 

It was a beautiful sunny day — 15 degrees of frost. 
After lunch I again sat for half an hour with Rendl. 
Until tea time we practiced our parts for the play as 
usual . 

December 12, Tuesday. 

During the morning there was an incident involving the 
swing on which was written an indecent expression by 
one of the infantrymen of the 2nd,- Regiment. After my 
daily walk I gave a lesson to Alexis. During the evening 
I finished The Day Before by Turgenev. 

December 13, Wednesday. 

During my morning walk we went to the guards* barracks 
of the First Platoon of the 4th > Regiment to warm our- 
selves and have a smoke and then we left. Then the new 
guards from the 1st Regiment arrived. 

the house — all your letters .. .and nothing has been 
returned yet, which is revolting, and for what reason, 
if I may ask? 

On December 6th, all my thoughts will be with 
you, my dear darling Nicky, and I send you my warmest 
wishes. God bless you, send you strength and peace of 
mind,, and may He not allow Russia to perish. 

I kiss you tenderly. May Christ be with you. 

— Your fondly loving old Mama. Letters , 301-304. 

2l3 T he men of the 1st and 4th Regiments were the most 
favorably disposed toward the family and especially the 
children. The Grand Duchesses completely captivated the 
men and Alexis was referred to as "the Heir." One 
section of the 4th- Regiment was especially attached to 
the family and when these men were on duty, Nicholas 


It was 16 degrees of frost out and it was in our rooms, 
but in my study the temperature was steady, 12 degrees. 
During the evening I began to read aloud. Smoke by 

December 14, Thursday. 

The wind changed and it became a little warmer. I gave 
Alexis a lesson until lunch time. Before tea we rehearsed. 

December 15, Friday. 

After breakfast I went to the dentist. From 4 until 5 
o* clock we rehearsed our parts to the end. After we played 
bezik and I read aloud. 

December 16, Saturday. 

It got a little warmer, 10 degrees. The morning was 
overcast but the day was sunny. I chopped up a lot of 
small firewood for our baths. At 9 o* clock vespers was 

December 1$, Sunday. 

During the morning we went to Mass. The weather was 
warm; a wind was blowing with snow. Until lunch I was 

and his children would sneak to the guardhouse to 
converse or play games with them. On one such 
occasion they were surprised by Pankratov sitting 
around a table playing cards. He stood by the door 
with his mouth open, hardly believing what he saw. 
Nicholas in his polite manner asked him to join them. 

He turned and stalked from the room. Gilliard, 244-245. 

( 166 ) 

with the dentist. We took a long walk; the children, 
as always, romped a lot with Dolgorukov and Mr. Gilliard. 
Before dinner we rehearsed our roles in the play. 

December 18, Monday. 

The weather was not too cold, 5 degrees. It was windy 
and snowing. I stayed outside in the fresh air for a 
long time. I chopped firewood. 

December 19, Tuesday. 

Yesterday I received a nice letter from Olga. It became 
cold, a wind wa§ blowing and then it became clear. After 
my walk I occupied myself with Alexis. Finally the big 
furnace made warmth in the rooms. 

December 20, Wednesday. 

It was a nice sunny day but windy. Today I finished the 
third volume of General History . From six o* clock on 
we rehearsed all our parts; they went smoothly. 

December 21, Thursday. 

The weather was very pleasant. Until lunch time I gave 


Alexis his lesson. I wrote to Olga at Aitodor. During 
the morning Anastasia received some modest presents. 

^l^This was a Grand- ducal estate in the Crimea where 
Dowager Empress Marie, Olga and other members of 
the Imperial family were being held captive. 
Youssoupoff, 265 . 


December 22, Friday. 

We finished celebrating Anastasia’s birthday with church 
services at 12 o’clock. During the day we worked on the 


hill and chopped up some firewood. After tea we held 

December 23 » Saturday. 

The weather mild, and a wet snow fell. We all 
worked up on the hill. At 9 o’clock vespers was held. 

December 24, Sunday. 

During the morning I was at the dentist’s for half an 
hour. At 12 o’clock Mass was held in the hall. Up to 
the time of our walk we got the presents ready for every- 
body and decorated the Christmas tree. 21 ^From tea time to 
5 o’clock I went out with Alexis to the guard barracks 
and got the tree ready for the 1st ^ Platoon of the 4th 
Regiment. We sat with the guards and their replacements 
until 5:30. After dinner all the people came to see the 
Christmas tree, and we received them until 8 o’clock. 
Vespers was very late — they did not start until 10:30 

Nicholas and his children built a snow mountain with 
a slide which was later destroyed by more belligerent 
guards. Franklin, 142. 

•^Alexandra and her daughter knitted xtfoolen waistcoats 
which they distributed to the servants and some of 
the guards. When all the company assembled for vespers 
the children delighted in passing out "surprises . " 
Gilliard, 246. 


because the priest did not have time to come earlier 
from services in the church. All the infantrymen who 
were off-duty were present. 

December 25* Monday. 

We went to Mass at 7 o* clock in the dark. ^^Af ter the 
liturgy, church services were held before the image of 
the Sacred Mother brought on Christmas Eve from the 
monastery 24 miles away. During the day I worked in the 
snow until dinner time. We rehearsed our parts thoroughly. 

December 26, Tuesday. 

It was a quiet cold day, 16 degrees of frost. Everyone 
slept for a long time. During the morning I went down 
with the children to the guard barracks. It was the First 
Platoon of the 2nd Regiment that sent us the Christmas 
tree yesterday and sweet pies and checkers. The other 
day Iza Buxhoevden came to see us. He had not been 
allowed to see us by some whim of Pankratov. 

December 27, Wednesday. 

It was a nice warm overcast day, four degrees. During 
the morning and during the day I worked at clearing up 

2 ^At the Mass the priest ordered the deacon to intone 
Mongo let ie (the prayer for the long life of the 
Imperial family). Some of the soldiers threatened 
the deacon with death unless he revoked the prayer. 

The whole incident made Christmas unpleasant for the 
Imperial family. Ibid . , 247. 


the firewood on the extension of the hill. After tea 
we rehearsed our parts. During the evening Alix had a 

December 28, Thursday. 

It was a warm sunny day, two degrees of frost cold. I was 
outside in the air a long time during the morning and 
during the evening. We learned with indignation that 
our dear Alexis had been taken in for investigation and 
that he had been placed under house arrest. This 
happened because after the church service of the 25 th of 
December the deacon addressed us with our titles and in 
the church there were many infantrymen of the 2nd Regiment 
as always. Everything started with this and very likely 
with the assistance of Pankratov and his associates. 

December 29* Friday. 

It was also a nice sunny day today, four degrees of frost. 
We worked on the wood pile which we had prepared. I 
chopped while the girls slid down the hill on skies. 

December 30 , Saturday. 

It was a quiet clear day. Alexis* s ankle was somewhat 
swollen and he stayed in bed. We took a long walk; the 
girls also went out after dinner. 

218Alexandra constantly complained of some type of in- 
firmity; often it was her head or her heart. Franklin, 


December 31 » Sunday. 

It was not a very cold day with a gusty wind. Toward 
evening Alexis got up, although he could not put on his 
boots. After tea we sat up and waited for the New Year. 

January 1, Monday. 

At 8 o* clock we went to Mass without Olga and Tati'ana, 
regretfully, because they both had a fever. The Dr. 
thinks they probably have the German measles. The Mass 
was held by a different priest and deacon. The weather 
became magnificent, quite March-like. 

January 2, Tuesday. 

It was confirmed that they both have measles, but for- 
tunately today they both felt a little better; but they 
had a considerable rash. The day became overcast, not 
too cold and with a strong wind. I went out into the 
garden but did not work. Today was absolutely boring. 

January 3* Wednesday. 

Alexis also got the measles,- but they were quite mild; 
Olga and Tatiana themselves feel fine; the latter even 
got up. All day it snowed. The detached committee of 
the infantry today decided to take off their shoulder 
straps so that they would not have to endure insults and 


attacks while in the village. 2 ^ Incomprehensible! 
January 4, Thursday. 

Today Marie got sick. She had a rash which gave her 
face a raspberry crimson hue. In the meantime her 
temperature Ttfent up. Tatiana was quite all right. 

I took a walk with Anastasia alone. It was 10 degrees 
of frost outside and there was a wind. Wd rehearsed 
our parts. I received a letter from Kseny. 

January 5» Friday. 

Almost everybody is better; Marie was still bedridden 
during the day. At 3:00 vespers was held and all the 
rooms were sprinkled with holy water. I was talking with 
some of the First Platoon of the 4th Regiment about their 
taking off their shoulder straps and about the behavior 
of some of the guardsmen of the 2nd Regiment who were 
cruelly denounced. 22 ^ 

January 6, Saturday. 

At 8:00 we went to Mass; I wore both an overcoat and a 
sheepskin coat. All the girls were better but none of 

2 ^"^At 2:00 p.m. the committee decided by a vote of 100 
votes to 85 to prohibit the wearing of epaulettes. 
Gilliard, 251. 

22 ®The removal of the epaulettes bothered the Tsar 

immensely, for General Tatishchev and Prince Dolgoruky 
had to beg him to remove them to avoid trouble with 
the guards. He consented after talking it over with 
his wife. Ibid . , 252. 

( 172 ) 

them went outside. The weather became holiday-like, the 
sun shining and the day quiet. During the morning we sat 
for a long time with the guards while they unburdened 
their souls to us. We could not see the crossing of the 
Irtysh, regretfully, because of the houses which were in 
the way. 

January 7 » Sunday . 

The day passed like every day. We did not go to church. 

The weather warmed up to 18 degrees. I finished the 4th 
volume of General History by Jaeger which she had compiled 
herself. I wrote to Kseny. 

January 8, Monday. 

All during the night and part of the day a storm was 
blowing. During the morning it was 18 degrees and toward 
evening it went down to 4 degrees and quieted down. The 
rooms were cold because of the wind. After my walk back 
and forth I again dressed in my Circassian coat. We took 
a walk and worked in the snow. 

January 9i Tuesday. 

It was a nice quiet day from 6 to 10 degrees of frost. 

The last two days I have read a book from the library here 
at the gymnasium about Tobolsk and its environs by Galodnikov. 


It' had. a very interesting historical background. During 
the day I worked for a little while. I cleaned up the 
yard and then filled up the shed with wood; an old guard 
from the 1st Begiment named Orlov who is an ex-reformer 
helped me. 

January 10, Wednesday. 

During the morning I worked with him again, and during the 
day Tatishchev helped. It became quiet and sunny, with 
16 degrees of frost. From 6:00 o’clock on we had a dress 

January 11, Thursday. 

Since the holidays the children have again started their 
lessons. Alexis is continuing to have Russian history 
lessons. I worked with the infantrymen of the 4th Regiment 
carrying wood into the shed. Before dinner Tatiana 
received her presents from us. 

January 12, Friday. 

Tatiana’s birthday was celebrated by church services in the 
hall at 12:00 o’clock. During the day it became a wonder- 
ful 14 degrees with a warm sunshine. Our priest. Father 
Alexei, was set free from house arrest. 


January 1J, Saturday. 

It was such nice weather, quite March-like. During the 
morning everything was warmed up by sunshine, and I sat 
on the roof of the greenhouse. During the day after tea 
we had a large performance, wearing our costumes. At 
9:00 vespers was served for us by the other priest. 

January 14, Sunday. 

During the morning we did not go to church, but Mass was 
held for us. I walked to it and during the day I took a 
long walk. The weather was mild. Before dinner we put on 
the play "Les deux timides." I believe that everything 
went smoothly and well. During the evening, as always, 
we played bezik and read aloud. 

January 15 t Monday. 

Today Anastasia got the measles. The weather was overcast, 
4 degrees of frost and windy. I finished reading the 
eleventh volume of Leskov. 

January 16, Tuesday. 

Anastasia felt a little better; her temperature was 37*4. 
She broke out in a large rash all over her face. The 
weather was very damp — almost thawing from 4:00 to 5 5 00 
o’clock. I gave a lesson to Alexis. Until dinner I read 
aloud to Anastasia. 


January 17, Wednesday. 

During the night the weather warmed up to 15 degrees, but 
it was windy and unpleasant. Nevertheless we went for a 
walk twice. The guard was nice — the First Platoon of the 
4th Regiment. Alexis visited them during the evening to 
play checkers. 

January 18, Thursday. 

The cold was stronger and towards evening down to 24 degrees 
of frost. During the day it got better, and the sun was 
shining. Today Alexis and I finished the history of Peter 
the Great. I started to recopy the play by Chekhov called 
"The Bear," so that Olga and Marie could learn it with us. 
The evening went as always. 

January 19, Friday. 

It was a sunny cold day, .20 degrees of frost and quiet. 

I finished copying the play toward evening. Anastasia 
finally recovered and came down to the sitting room for 
breakfast. Toward night the cold increased to 27 degrees 
of frost. 

January 20, Saturday. 

During the day it got very cold because of a wind. It went 

221ihe soldiers of the 4th Regiment xrere the most friendly of 
all .to the family. Ibid . , 252-53* 


down to 23 degrees of frost. It was enough to cut your 
face. I worked for a while putting firewood in the shed. 222 
At 9:00 o’clock vespers. 

January 21, Sunday. 

There was a snow storm and it x\ras 2k degrees of frost. About 
12:00 Mass was held. During the day I walked for about an 
hour. In the hall and in the girls’ room the air was cold — 

8 degrees of frost; in my study it was 9 degrees of frost. 
After dinner Tatiana, Alexis and Mr. Gilliard had a good time 
practicing in "A la Porte." During the evening as always 
we played bezik . 

January 22, Monday. 

It was an unpleasant cold day. There was a north wind blowing 
and the cold was 25 degrees of frost. It was unpleasant to 
walk in the rooms, as the temperature got quite low. From 
past experience we now dress warmly. 

January 23, Tuesday. 

The weather got a little better. The wind quieted down and 
for two hours the sun shone, but in the rooms the cold still 
continued. I cleaned out the snow that had gathered in the 

222 Prince Bolgoruky and Gilliard finished the snow mountain. 
The weather was so cold that the buckets of water they 
carried from the kitchen froze before they reached the 
mountain. Ibid . , 253* 


January 2-4-, Wednesday. 

It -was Kseny’s birthday and I wrote her a letter. The 
weather became quite pleasant; it was quiet and sunny, with 
12 degrees of frost, and particularly pleasant to the 
extremities of the face. 

January 25, Thursday. 

It was a nice pleasant day, and today as Tuesday I gave 
Alexis a lesson. The children went for a drive up in the 

January 26 , Friday. 

I finished reading the writings of Leskov — 12 volumes — and 
began The Garden of Allah in the Russian translation. During 
the day I worked for a while on the firewood and sawed some 
up. At 9:00 vespers. By decision of the detachment committee 
Pankratov and his assistant, Nikolsky, were dismissed from 
their posts and sent away from Kornilovsky* s house. 

January 27, Saturday. 

It was an overcast day, 8 degrees of frost. During the day I 
chopped wood with T’atishchev. Valya Dolgoruky was not well. 

-^Nikolsky, with his harsh treatment of the prisoners, started 
something he could not control. The soldiers began to dis- 
regard orders and take the law into their own hands. They 
dismissed Pankratov, Nikolsky, and the members of the 4th 
Regiment who had continued to treat the Imperial family 
with kindness and respect. Franklin, 142-43; Gilliard, 253.. 

( 178 ) 

Alexis was also in bed.. At 9:00 vespers. 

January 28, Sunday. 

During the morning I took a .short walk. At 11:30 Mass was 
held for us. I worked for La long time in the garden. The 
weather was overcast, about 5 degrees of frost. It was 
pleasant. After dinner we put on our household performance. 
Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Nastenka G. , and Tatishchev together 
performed "La bete noire." It started at 8:15 and ended 
at 10:00. 

January 29 , Monday . 

It was a nice quiet day. Our guard was the First Platoon of 
the '4th Regiment. I took a walk. I worked and talked with 
the infantrymen. I finished reading Turgenev aloud during 
the evening. I started reading some stories by Leskov. 

January 30 , Tuesday. 

During my morning walk I said goodbye to the infantrymen who 
were going home. They were some of the best we knew. They 
were unwilling to leave now during the winter, and would 
gladly have remained until the rivers open to navigation. 
Alexis stayed in bed all day because he had a swollen ankle. 

January 31* Wednesday. 

The wind blew and again it was blizzarding, but it was not 
very cold. Alexis still stayed in bed all day. 


February 1/14, Thursday. 

We learned from instructions which we received in the mail 
to change our calendar from the 1st of February and count 
as if today were already the 14th of February. This mi sunder' 
standing and confusion will not be the last! During the 
morning from the hill we watched the farewell and departure 
of many of the infantrymen who were our old acquaintances. 

It was warm, but a storm added a lot of snow which I cleaned 
out of the yard. Alexis stayed in bed again today. At 9 ; 00 
we attended vespers. 

February 2/15, Friday. 

During the day the weather became radiant. Vespers was at 
11:00. We went out into the air about it was wonder-' 

ful. I worked all the time up to the end cleaning the 
balcony. I finished The Garden of Allah and yesterday I 
started The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes . With Olga and 
Marie I practiced our parts in the play "The Bear." 

Tatishchev has a cold. 

February 3/16 » Saturday. 

It was such ha nice light day, like yesterday, but the cold 
had increased. Alexis finally got out of bed. At 9:00 we 
attended vespers. 


February 4/17 » Sunday. 

It was a sunny cold day. At 11:30 we attended Mass. I took 
a long walk, taking pleasure in the weather. Marie fell 
down the hill and got a huge lump over her right leg. -After 
After dinner we performed the play — a repeat of "A la Porte" — 
and the English play "Packing Up," in which Marie, Anastasia 
and Alexis played very well and musically. 

February 3/18 » Monday, and February 6/19 > Tuesday. 

During both days the weather was pleasant. , Tatishchev got 
better. I began to read Les trois Mousquetaires by Alexandre 
Dumas. For the last three days vie have had our daily tea. in 
my sitting room because it is lighter and we can see the sun- 
set, and it is warmer in the room. 

February 7/20, Wednesday, and February 8/21, Thursday. 

It has been such nice weather with warm sunshine and very warm 
dazzling moonlight during the night. Judging from the tele- 
grams, the troops from Germany are resuming their advance as 
if the period of truce had elapsed; and on the front it 
appears that we have nothing' — the army demo rali zed, tools 
and supplies wasted on foolish gambles, and the enemy on 


the offensive! 

Shame and disgrace! 


February 9/22, Friday, and February 10/23, Saturday. 
It was such nice sunny weather both days. There are still 
much of the enlistment terms left to serve since 1914,. so 
that all our good fighting men will leave our detachments. 
I said goodbye to them. This morning they already had a 
large party. At 9:00 vespers. 

F e br uar y 11/24, Sunday. 

At 11:00 we attended Mass. After lunch I took a ‘walk, then 
sat for la while with Rendel and again went outside. I 
watched from the hill the departure .of the soldiers. The 
•whole caravan was in sleighs. During the evening we presented 

224 0n November 22 a Soviet delegation suggested an armistice 
for "six months, the evacuation of Dago, Ossel, and Moon 
Islands by the German forces, and an agreement that no 
troops advance along the front. Finally, the agreement read 
that no troops would move after November 22. Peace talks 
were opened at Brest- Lit ovsk , but the Germans realized the 
position of the Soviet regime. General Hoffmann felt that 
"the Bolshevik! must accept the conditions of the Central 
Powers, however harsh they may be." The peace talks dragged 
and, when Trotsky refused to sign a peace, the Germans 
interpreted this refusal as an automatic denunciation of the 
armistice; their advance began again on February 5* On 
February 9 new peace conditions were sent by the German 
Government , stating that the Bolsheviks had three days to 
send representatives and sign the peace. Lenin decided to 
accept these harsher terms because to fight a war Russia 
needed an army and this she did not have. The Soviets 
signed the peace on February 18. The standard work is 
Wheeler-Bennett , Brest-Litovsk, the Forgotten Peace 
(London, Macmillan , 1938). See also Chamberlin, 3^1-^05» 


"Le fluide de John" and -the English play "In and Out of a 
Punt," in which Tatiana and Mr. Gibbs played. Everything 
went quite well and was amusing. 

February 12/25, Monday. 

Today I received a telegram informing us that the Bolsheviks, 
or whatever they call themselves, sovnarkom^^ must agree 
before the world to the humiliating conditions of the German 
Government; it appears that the hostile troops are moving 
forward and there is nothing we can do to detain them. 1 
What a nightmare! 

February 13/26, Tuesday. 

The weather was a little unpleasant ; a wind was blowing and 
the sun was hidden. I finished Les trois mousquetaires and 
started This Womg.n to This Man . After my walk I gave a 
lesson to Alexis. 

February 14/27, Wednesday. We have had to reduce our 
expenses signif icantly for food and servants because the use 

p pzT 

of personal capital is reduced to only 600 rubles a month. 

225sovnarkom was the Council of People* s Commissars. 

Colonel Kobylinsky received a telegram informing him that 
from March 1 "Nicholas Romanov and his family must be put 
on soldiers* rations and each member of the “family will 
receive 600 rubles per month from the interest of their 
personal estate." The family consisted of seven persons, 
and the entire household had to be run on 4, '200 rubles per 
month. Nicholas asked Gilliard to help him draw up a 


All the last few days we have been occupied calculating the 
minimum which we would be allowed to take, all in all. 

February 15/28, Thursday. 

For this reason we had to let many of the people go, since we 
could not maintain all that we had in Tobolsk. This was very 
difficult but necessary. -By our request Tatishchev, Valya D. , 
and Mr. Gilliard took upon themselves the troubles of the 
household and managing superintendent of Ithe servants; under 
them was the valet. The weather became cloudy, but quiet. 
During the evening I read aloud The Temple by Leskov. 

February 16/March 1, Friday. 

Today I began to read Anna Karenina . The day was not -very 
cold; during the morning it thawed after the sun came out. 
These last few days we have begun to live again, with the 
curtailment of the regime. After tea we rehearsed our parts. 

February 17/ March 2, Saturday. 

During the day it snowed and the weather became damp. I 

shoveled out the walk to the hill and sawed firewood. At 

family budget. Nicholas informed his family that, since 
everyone else was forming committees, he was going to 
appoint one himself to look after the welfare of his own 
community. The committee met and decided that ten 
servants would have to be dismissed in order to meet the 
budget. Gilliard, 25^-55 • 


9:00 we attended vespers. On the 15 th of February I re- 
ceived a letter from Olga A. /his sister7 

February 18/ March 3 , Sunday. 

Mass was at 11:30. The weather became nice, warm, and quite 
wonderful; during the day it thawed. I sat with Rendel. 

We worked in the garden and sawed wood. h After tea we 
rehearsed. During the evening we put on the play. First 
was the English play, "The Crystal Gazers,” with Marie and 
Mr. Gibbs; then ours in which Olga played, and again Marie 
and I. Everyone was nervous at the start of the performance 
but it appeared that it went well. 

February 19/ March 4, Monday. 

I read Anna Karenina with enthusiasm. Today I received a 
letter from Kseny. For a large part of the day it snowed. 

I chopped firewood in the shed — it is dry there. 

February 20 , March 5» Tuesday. 

During the morning we saw out the window a break in the hill; 

it turned out that the stupid committee of the detachment 

had it in order to stir us up and not let us climb up 


on it to see over the fence. Today was clear after a 

22 ?Th e soldiers 1 committee decided to abolish the snow 

mountain on which the children amused themselves because 
Nicholas and Alexandra watched the 4th Regiment -depart 
from it. Ibid . ,255. 


snowy night and a fresh south breeze was blowing. I 
chopped wood in the shed and wrote a letter to Mama. 

February 21/March 6, Wednesday. 

It was a surprising cold day but with a very warm sun. 
During the morning I cleaned the yard and during the 
day:;/ 1 /chopped a lot of wood. 

February 22/March 7, Thursday. 

Today they brought in a huge quantity of wood and we 
helped unload it from the sleigh. The day was warm, but 
in the meantime a squall swooped in with snow. 

February 23 /March 8, Friday. 

The morning was bright and warm; it was hot to work. 

During the day it got 'fresher. Alix sat on the balcony 
so that she did not have to run up and down stairs often. 

February ’24/March 9» Saturday. 

It was a nice quiet day. We stayed for a long time out in 
the air and worked ’a lot kchopping and splitting firewood. 
Vespers at 9*00* 

February 25 / March 10, Sunday. 

The cold increased to 12 degrees of frost, in spite of the 
warm sun. During the morning we walked until vespers, and 


for two and a half hours during the day; we chopped and 
split wood and carried it into the shed. During the 
evening Marie and Anastasia for the second time played - 
together with Alexis in the play "Packing Up." 

February 26 /March 11, Monday. 

It was dear Papa’s birthday. It was cold and stormy out- 
side. Nevertheless the children and I worked diligently 
on the firewood. Three young guards with Orlov helped me 
quite well carrying the firewood into the shed. 

February 27/March 12, Tuesday. 

It was a cold day with a wind, and the morning was clear. 

We worked hard for two hours. Until tea I was occupied 
with Alexis. 

February 28/March 13 » Wednesday. 

It was the same sort of day, about 12 degrees of frost. I 

finished Anna Karenina and began to read Lermontov. I 

chopped a lot of wood with Ta.tiana. For the last few days 

we have begun to receive butter, coffee, pastries for tea, 

and cooking from the various dear people who know about the 


reduced expenditures for rations. It is very touching. 

^^On February 15 Nicholas received orders that butter, 
coffee and other "luxuries" were to be excluded -from 
the dinner table. The townspeople, hearing of it, sent 
eggs, butter, coffee, sweetmeats and other delicacies. 
Ibid . . 255. 


March 1/14, Tuesday. 


It is the 38 th anniversary of the demise of Grandfather. 

At 12:00 Requiem Mass was held for us. The 'weather was 
as always cold and sunny. I worked diligently on the fire- 

March 2/15, Friday. 

Remember those days last year at Iskov and on the journey. 
Hoxtf much longer must our unfortunate homeland be torn and 
lacerated on the inside and outside by enemies. It some- 
times appears that there can no longer be strength. You do 
not know, anymore, what there is to hope for and what there 
is to await. And so there is no one but God. Let it be as 
He wills it. 

2 ^^Members of a terrorist organization, the People’s Will, 
killed Alexander II with a bomb on March 1, 1881. The 
assassination had a deep effect upon Nicholas. Grand 
Duke Alexander described the day: "The Emperor lay on 

the couch near the desk. He was unconscious. Three 
doctors were fussing, but science was obviously help- 
less. It was a question of minutes. He presented a 
terrific sight, his right leg torn off, his left leg 
shattered, innumerable wounds all over his head and 
face. One eye Was shut, the other expressionless. 

Every instant member; of the imperial family came in. 
The room was packed. I clung to the arm of Nicky, 
deathly pale in his sailor 1 s • suit . His mother, stunned 
by the catastrophe, was still holding a pair of skates 
in her trembling hands. I recognized the heir apparent 
by his broad shoulders; he was looking out the window." 
Alexander, 59-80. 


March 3/18, Saturday. 

The :day became partly clear with 14 degrees of; ‘frost. I 
paced back and forth during the morning and during the day 
I worked to my heart’s content. At 9 ’00 we attended 

March 4/17, Sunday. 

I walked to Mass. The weather was very nice; in the sun 
it was thawing. During the day we worked a. lot. Guards 
from the First Regiment also helped us. All the time we 
could hear bells in the streets — the residents of Tobolsk 
have been riding in sleighs of all sorts with their horses 
harnessed for the last few days in a carnival. 2 ^ 0 

March 5/18, Monday. 

At 9 : 30 Alix and the girls began chorus rehearsal with the 
deacon and it lasted until noon-. They sang for both 
services, since the choir could not sing. The weather was 
brilliant. I spent a long time out in the air, and dili- 
gently chopped and split firewood. After dinner everyone 
went into the living room and the family spent the evening 

2 30fhe :captivity was especially hard on the children who 
became very bored. They watched in envy the procession 
of sleighs pass their 'window.. After the guards tore down 
their snow mountain, all they could do was cut wood and 
walk. Gilliard, 256 . 


March 6/19, Tuesday. 

The day became quiet and overcast. We took a long walk 
and everyone is getting fairly well sun-tanned. The 
singing for the services improved today. ^1 

March 7/20, Wednesday. 

Finally, after two months of interruption, we again found 
ourselves in church for the Pre-Consecration liturgy; the 
priest, Father Vladimir Khlymov, served it and not Father 
Alexei. The choir sang our familiar beloved tunes. ^32 The 
weather was wonderful; we -stayed out in the air for four 

March 8/21, Thursday. 

Today it has been a year since I parted with dear Mama at 

23lGilliard described a discussion the family had after 

lunch. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk had just been signed 
and Nicholas was depressed, saying; "It is such a dis- 
grace for Russia and amounts to suicide. I .should never 
have thought the Emperor William and the German Govern- 
ment could stoop to shake hands with these miserable 
traitors. But I am sure they will get no good from it; 
it won’t save them from ruin!" A little while later 
Prince Dogorukov remarked that the newspapers were dis- 
cussing a clause in which the Germans demanded that the 
Imperial family should be handed over to them unharmed. 
Nicholas said: "This is either a maneuver to discredit 
me or an insult." Alexandra added, "After all they have 
done to the Tsar, I would rather die in Russia than be 
saved by the Germans." Ibid . , 257. 


Vocal music is indispensable in Russian church services 
where there is no instrumental music. All priests are 
trained musicians, and there is much congregational 
singing. Viroubova , 337* 


Moghilev and. left for Tsarskoe Selo. I received, a letter 
from Kseny. The weather was changing, now sunshine, now 
snow, but in general it was warm. 

March 9/22, Friday. 

Today is the anniversary of my arrival at Tsarskoe Selo 
and the confinement of the family at Alexandrovsky palace. 
Involuntarily I recalled that past difficult year. What 
do we still have before us. Everything is in the hands of 
God! All our hopes are on that. 

March 10/23 » Saturday. 

At 7 00 we went to Mass. The day '-.went as always: we ate 
dinner at ?:00, and afterward, evening Mass and then con- 
fession in the hall. After that we all received the 
Eucharist of the Holy Christian mystery. There was a rare 
quality in the choir. At 9:00 we returned home. After 
tea we took a walk. The weather was quite spring-like, 

thawing in the sun. During the day we worked for a long 


time. At 9^00 vespers. I wanted to sleep very badly. ^ 
March 11/24, Sunday. 

It was a wonderful spring-like day. I slept very well both 

2 33on this date a detachment of over a hundred Red Guards 
arrived. from Omsk. They were the first , Bolshevik guards 
to be sent. Gilliard, 257. 


days. At 11:30 Mass was held. On the first of the week 
I began to read the Bible from the beginning. 

March 12/25, Monday. 

Vladimir Shtein arrived from Moscow for the second time, 
bringing from there a fairly good summary of information 
about our dear people, some books and tea. He was the 
second vice-governor for me at Moghilev. Today we saw him 
coming along the streets. 

March 13/26, Tuesday. 

The day became overcast but thawing. Since I could not read 
the Bible all the time, I also began The History of the 
English People by J. K. Green. During the evening I again 
read from Turgenev — now I am reading Spring Waters . Today it 
has been seven months that we have lived in this house. 

March 14/27, Wednesday. 

The bodyguards here were dismissed x^hen their term of service 
was finished. But nevertheless together with the guard 
detachment they had to be sent to the city. From Omsk they 
sent a command for this village. 'The arrival of this "Red 
Guard," as it is now called, or any armed detachment, excites 


rumors and fear here. 2 3l- it was simply amusing to hear what 
they say these last few days. The commander of our detachment 
apparently also was confused, since the last two nights the 
guards detachment and machine guns were brought in the 
evening. Hope remains above all in these present times! 

March 15/28, Thursday. 

During the night it got fairly cold, down to 12 degrees of 
frost; the day became sunny and windy. I chopped up and 
split firewood. 

March 16/29, Friday. 

All day there was a huge storm and snow piled up in heaps. 
During the morning I took a walk and during the day I worked 
for a while on the firewood. 

March 17/30, Saturday. 

The storm quieted down and during the day it began to get 
cold and clear. During the morning I had a hard time clearing 
the snow off the walk, and it was also difficult to walk. 

^-^Commissars came from both Omsk and Ekaterinburg and tried 
to influence the guards to their own way of thinking. The 
soldiers guarding the house demanded a commissar from 
Moscow to give them orders. In the middle of March they 
sent one of their men, Peter Lupin, to Moscow to see 
that their demands were met. A commissar was promised 
and rumors floated through Tobolsk that Trotsky, himself, 
was coming. The. first detachment of Red Guards came from 
Omsk under the cbmmand of Lt. Degtiarev. Botkin, 185; 
Franklin, 15 0. 


After "breakfast I chopped, wood and the girls split it. At 
8:45 w e attended vespers. Alexis had a cough and because of 
that for i the last few days he has not gone for a walk.^-^ 

March 18/31, Sunday. 

The weather improved, and during the day it became nice and 
quiet. At 11:30 Mass. I stayed outside in the air for a 
long time; the sun shone very warmly. After dinner as usual 
I played bezik and afterward I read aloud. In 'the past few 
days I have x-ron all four beziks . 

March 19/April 1, Monday. 

The 'weather was absolutely ideal: ithe sun shone, but in the 

shade it went down to 4 degrees of frost. I learned from 
our ugual informer, Kirpichnikov, much of Interest about the 
arriving Bolsheviks from Omsk. I worked a lot for a long time. 

March 20/April 2, Tuesday. 

The morning was greyish; about 11:00 the sun emerged and 
the day became like yesterday, except that it was even 
warmer. After breakfast I went out on the balcony and 

^■5 Alexandra wrote to Viroubova and described the boy’s 
condition: "Sunbeam (Alexis) has beel ill in bed for 
the past week. I don’t know whether coughing brought 
on the attack, or whether he picked up something heavy, 
but he had an awful internal hemorrhage and suffered 
fearfully. He is better now, but he sleeps badly and 
the pains, though less severe, have not entirely 
ceased." Viroubova, 358* 

( 19*0 

stayed for a long time. In the sun it vias 21 degrees and 
in the shade 6 degrees. We dug ditches in the garden and 
chopped and split wood. 

March 21/April 3 * Tuesday. 

It was also a very nice day. During the morning I spent 
almost 2 hours out in the air, and during the day more than 
2 hours. The air was very clean and clear. During the 
evening three of our people, freed a month ago, came to say 
goodbye before their departure to their homelands (Makarov, 
Mikhailov, and Koni-chev). 

March 22/April 4, Thursday. 

The weather became overcast but thawing well. During the 
morning we heard from the yard, like they were coming from 
Tobolsk, the robber- Bolsheviks in fifteen troikas with 
bells and whooping and hollering. The Omsk detachment 
drove out here. 

March 23/April 5» Friday. 

It was a very nice day; the morning was clear and warm. 

From the open window of the barra.cks from 10:00 until 5:00 
could be heard the singing of the guards and the sound of 
balalaikas, owing to having nothing to do and boredom. 
Everyone went out into the air for hours, also on the 
balcony . 


March 2k / April 6, Saturday. 

It was a wonderful day. The snow quickly vanished and 
almost all of the paths in the yard are dry. During the 
morning and the rest of the day I chopped a lot of wood. 
After tea I read in the light of the sunset until 7:00. 
Vespers began at 9^5 with the worship of the Holy Gross. 

March 25/April 7> Sunday, Annunciation. 

We did not get to church on this holiday. We rose early, 
but at 8:00 the Father came and served Mass without the 
singers. Alix and the girls sang again without practice. 
The weather was unpleasant — overcast and cold. During the 
morning I paced back and forth and talked with the guards. 
During the day I chopped wood. 

March 26/April 8, Monday. 

The weather was overcast but warm. From time to time a 
light snow fell. I worked and walked as always. 

March 27/April Tuesday. 

Suddenly it became cold with a north wind. The day became 
clear. During the evening I began to read aloud the book 
by Nilusa about the anti-Christ, with a supplementary 
"report” on Jews and Masons. It was very contemporary 


March 28/April 10, Wednesday. 

It was a wonderful sunny day without a wind. During the 
evening some excitement occurred in our detachment, under 
the influence of rumors about the arrival from Ekaterin- 
burg of another "Red Guard" detachment, and toward night 
the guards were doubled, sentries posted, and pickets 
sent into the streets. 2 -^ We talked about the imaginary 

attack on us in the house and our chance of crossing to 


the Bishop* s house. All day everyone talked about this 
in their rooms and elsewhere. Finally during the evening 
everyone calmed down. I received a report about this at 
7:00 from Kobylinsky . 2 3^ They even asked Alix not to sit 
on the balcony and read for three days. 2 -^ ! 

2 3^The guards of Tobolsk vowed that they would not give up 
their prisoners to the guards from Ekaterinburg. If 
necessary they would use force to resist. Botkin, 185-87. 


Although the Tsar stayed very calm, certain members of 
the Imperial party were in constant fear. Gleb Botkin 
felt there would be a repetition of the tragedy which had 
befallen the family of Louis XVI, and Gilliard felt 
they would be killed in their sleep. Ibid . , 190-92. 


Although still the nominal commander, Kobylinsky had no 
power. He had little influence over the guards, and if 
the Tsar had not begged him to stay on as his last friend, 
he would have resigned to fight the Bolsheviks. He later 
did so. Franklin, 151. 


On this date the Bolshevik guard sat in committee and 
the commissar explained that he had the right to shoot, 
within twenty-four hours, anyone opposing his orders. 
Gilliard, 258 . 


March 29/April 11, Thursday. 

During my morning walk I saw the supreme commissar, Demianov, 
who with his assistant, Degtyarev, with the accompaniment 
of the commander and guards, inspected the sentry barracks 
and the garden. Because of him (Demianov) and of the 
reluctance of the sentries to let him pass, there was trouble 
for three days. The day became wonderful and sunny. 

March 30/April 12, Friday. 

What a day, what a new surprise. Today Kobylinsky brought a 

copy of yesterday* s paper from Moscow from the Central 

Executive Committee for our detachment, an order to transfer 

all of us living in the house and placing us under house 

arrest as in Tsarskoe Selo. Now they have begun moving the 

women from one room to another below, in order to clean the 


place out for the new arrivals. Alexis’s hips hurt from 

the cold and he lay in bed. 

March 31/April 13, Saturday. 

He /Alexis/ could not quite sleep at night, and during the 
day he suffered, the poor dear. The weather was, as if on 

soldier from the detachment, sent to Moscow for instruc- 
tions, returned with a memorandum from the Central 
Committee, ordering Colonel Kobylinsky to be more strict 
with the family. General Tatishchev and Prince Dolgo- 
rukov were transferred to the Tsar’s house. Ibid . , 258. 


purpose, lovely .and warm, and the snow quickly disappeared. 

I took a long walk. The furniture and things from the 
Kornilovsky house were carried over until lunch time, and the 
occupants were already moved into the new apartments. Vespers 
at 8 : 15 . 

April 1/14, Sunday. 

Today the detachment committee decreed, in the verification 
of the paper from Moscow, that all the people who inhabited 
our house and also the large one would not be put into the 
street but in the town. Therefore, all day we talked about 
it — how to accomodate them without overcrowding the house. 
We had to move five people. All this was done quite 
successfully in view, of the rapid ^arrival of .the new 
detachment which came with its instructions. Because of 
this, our sentries, to keep themselves from unnecessary 
trouble, waited in order to find out about us from the 
harsh regime. At 11:30 Mass was held. Alexis stayed in 
bed all day; his pain continued, but with long interrup- 
tions. The weather was overcast and windy. 

^^•The five were: Countess Hendrikov, . Miss Schneider, 
General Tatishchev, Prince Dolgorukov, and Mr. Gibbs. 

Ibid . . 259. 


April 2/15 » Monday. 

During the morning the commander from the commission of the 
officers and guards /Kobylinsky/ went around inspecting our 
house. The result of that "search" was the taking away of 
Valya’s and Mr. Gilliard*s and my dagger /the dagger which 
he always wore with his Cossack uniform/. Again Kobylinsky 
explained that this measure was only necessary to reassure 
the critics. Alexis was better, and at 7:00 p.m. he fell 
into a deep sleep. The weather became overcast and quiet. 

April 3/16, Tuesday. 

He /Alexis/ slept with small interruptions for twelve 
hours. There Xtfas almost no pain. The weather became un- 
pleasant. A wet snow fell -and a cold wind blew. The 
day went as usual. 

April 4/17* Wednesday. 

The weather was grey, overcast and quiet, but about 4:00 
the sun came out. '.During the morning I walked for an hour 
and during the day I walked and chopped wood for two hours. 
Alexis is better, but he gets tired of lying in the same 
position; his fever, as always, is not very high — 38.4 
degrees. Vladimir Derevenko /one of the doctors/ said that 
such a temperature is necessary, since he is trying to 
recover from a swelling. 

( 200 ) 

April 5/18, Thursday. 

It was a wonderful day. For half a day I left the windows 
open. Alexis slept fitfully, for the pain from time to 
time disturbed him when he changed positions in the bed. 

But in general he was happy 'and conversive. His tempera- 
ture was ^5?*jpdegrees. 

April 6/19* Friday. 

Today Alexis suffered a lot and did not sleep at all. The 
day became nice; about 5 *’00 a wonderful spring rain fell — 

I finished the English history by Green and began to read 
a novel by V. Solovev. 

April 7/20, Saturday. 

Alexis slept well, and during the day the pain let up 
quite a bit. The morning was warm and sunny; at 2:00 a 
wet snow fell, and toward evening it began to get colder. 

At 9:00 vespers. 

April 8/21, Sunday. 

It is the 24th anniversary of our betrothal. The day be- 
came sunny with a cold wind. All the snow is still here. 

At 11:30 Mass was held, .i; After that Kobylinsky read a tele- 
gram from Moscow to me which confirmed the instructions of 
the detachment committee about taking off Alexis* s and my 

( 201 ) 

shoulder straps. Because of this we decided that on the 

walks we would not put them on, but wear them only in the 

house. This swinishness I shall not forget! I worked in 
the garden for 2 hours. In the evening I began to read 
aloud Magi and also Vsevolod Solovev. 

April 9/22, Monday. 

We learned of the arrival of the commissar extraordinary, 

2hf 3 

Yakovlev, from Moscow. J He took up residence in the 
Kornilovsky house. The children imagined that today he was 
going to perform a search, and they burned all their letters, 
and Marie and Anastasia even burned their diaries. The 
weather was terrible with a wet snow. Alexis felt better 
and even slept for two or three hours during the day. 

^■^The order to remove the shoulder straps was a shock to 
both Nicholas and his son who, since the start of the 
war, had dressed in a soldier* s uniform. The shoulder 
strap was considered an emblem of military honor, and 
every officer had the right and duty to shoot anyone who 
touched them. The kshoulder straps became a constant 
sotirce of worry for all those attached to the Tsar. The 
straps were extremely important to Nicholas, for he was 
a military man and, being a colonel in his father's 
suite, could wear his father* s initials on the strap. 
Botkin, 174-81. 

Commissar Yakovlev was a good-looking man who came to 
Tobolsk dressed in a sailor suit and fully armed. A man 
of some education, he spoke several languages. Botkin, 
194; Chamberlin, II, 88. 

( 202 ) 

April 10/23 » Tuesday. 

At 10:30 this morning Kobylinsky came with Yakovlev at his 

side. I received them in the hall with the girls. We waited 

for them Until 11:00 "because Alix still was not ready. He 

came in with a plain face, smiling and embarrassed. He asked 

if we were well guarded, well encamped, and well accomodated. 

Afterwards, almost running, he went down to see Alexis, and 

then, not stopping, he went on to inspect the rest of the 


rooms and apoligizing for our anxiety he went out below. 

In the same manner he went through the rest of the floors. 
Within a half hour he was back again, in order to see Alix 
again. He again hurried over to Alix and then went down- 
stairs. For the present he limited himself to inspecting the 
house. We took a walk as usual, and the weather was beautiful. 

April 11/24, Wednesday. 

The day was fine and comparatively warm. For a long time I 
sat on the roof of the greenhouse. It was very Lwarm up 
there in the sun. I worked up on the hill and cleared the 
deep ditch along the fence. 

244Qr. Botkin described Yakovlev with the Tsar to his son: 
"I ! m at a complete loss as to what all this means. That 
man, Yakovlev, is dressed like a plain soldier, but he is 
certainly masquerading. His speech is that of a man of 
culture. Most remarkable of all, he talked to the 
Emperor standing all the time at attention and actually 
addressed him several times as 1 Your Majesty.*" 

Botkin, 194. 


April 12/25 » Thursday. 

After lunch Yakovlev came over with Kobylinsky and announced 
that he had received orders to take me away, he did not say 
where. Alix decided to go with me and take Marie. It was 
impossible to protest. The other children and Alexis were 
to stay behind. The present circumstances are very hard, 
but this is worse than that I Now we have started to pack 

our necessities. Yakovlev said that he would probably be 
back for Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia and Alexis, and that 
probably we would see each other within a week or two. The 
evening passed very sadly; during the night naturally no 
one slept. 

April 13/26, Friday. 

At 4:00 a.m. we said goodbye to the dear children and got 
into the carriage — myself with Yakovlev, Alix with Marie, 
Valya with Botkin. Among the servants Anna Demidov, 

Kobylinsky insisted that as long as he lived he would 
not let anyone take the Tsar if he meant to harm him. 

But Yakovlev showed him all his papers, mandates, and 
secret instructions. Kobylinsky reluctantly agreed to 
release the Tsar as he had no other choice. The boy, 
because of his illness, and three of his sisters were to 
be left behind. Alexandra, deeply disturbed, told 
Gilliard: "The commissar says that no harm will come to 

the Tsar, and that if anyone wishes to accompany him 
there will be no objection. I can’t let the Tsar go 
alone. They want to separate him from his family as 
they did bef ore . . . . "They ’ re going to try to force his 
hand by making him anxious about his f amily . . . .The Tsar 
is necessary to them; they feel he alon& represents 
Russia." Ibid . , 194; Gilliard, 260. e 


Chemodurov and Seniev /the footman to the Grand Duchesses/ 
went with us along with eight soldiers and a convoy from 
the stable (Red Guard) and ten men. The weather was 

cold with an unpleasant wind. The road was very difficult 
and terribly bumpy because of the frozen ruts. We crossed 
the Irtysh over the deep water. We changed horses four 
times. In the first day we made 130 versts. For our 
lodgings for the night we stopped in the village of 
Yevlevo. We spent the night in a large clean house, and 
slept well on our coats. 

April 14,27* Saturday. 

We got up at 4:00, since we had to leave by 5 ’00, but there 
was a delay because Iakovlev was fast asleep; beside that, 
he had to wait for a lost package. We went through Tobolsk 
on foot on the board walks, and on the other side we took a 
ferry one at a time. I got acquainted with Yakovlev’s 
assistant, Guzakov, who is in charge of guarding us on the 

2i ^At 11:30 the servants assembled in the big hall to bid 
farewell to the Tsar. The Tsar embraced the men and 
Alexandra embraced the women. Then '.they retired to 
their rooms where everyone cried. At 300 the convoy 
arrived. All the members of the family were crying with 
the exception- of Nicholas, who was very calm and had a 
word of encouragement for everyone. At 4:00 they climbed 
into the tarantass , a vehicle used by the peasants which 
consisted of a large wicker basket hung from two long 
poles and which had no seats, and left. Gilliard, 2 66. 


journey up to Tiumen. During the day it got nice and very 
warm. The road became muddy and, when the bumps became 
worse, I was rather afraid for Alix. In the open places it 
was very dusty, and in the forest it was muddy. In the 
village of Pokrovsky we changed horses. For a long time we 
stood directly across from the house of Gregory and watched 
his entire family looking out the window. The last change 
of horses was in the village of Borki. Here E. S. Botkin 
had a strong pain in his kidney. He had to go to bed in 
the house for one hour and a half, and then he got better, 
but slowly. We drank itea and talked with the servants and 
soldiers in the village schoolhouse. We made the last stage 
slowly and with all measures of caution. We arrived in 
Tiumen at 9:1 5 with a beautiful moon and a whole squadron 
around our vehicles for the entrance into the town. The 
entrance into the train was pleasant , although it was not 
very clean; we had an unpleasant dirty view. We lay down to 
sleep at 10:00 without undressing. I was above Alix’s bunk, 
and Anna and Marie were in separate compartments. 

April 15/28, Sunday. 

Everyone slept soundly according to the men at the station. 
We suspect that we are going in the direction of Omsk. We 
started to guess where we would be taken after Omsk. To 
Moscow or Vladivostok? The commissar naturally did not talk 

( 206 ) 

with anyone. Marie often went to see the soldiers — their 
lodgings were in the end of the coach. Pour of them were 
stationed here and the rest of them were in the next car. 

We ate during a halt at the Vagai station at 11:00; it was 
very delicious. At the station we had to close the curtains 
over our windows "because there were many curious ".people. 
After a cold snack and tea, we went to sleep early - 

April 16/29, Monday. 

During the morning we noted that we were travelling again. 
It was rumored that they did not want to take us through 
Omsk. 2 ^? On the other hand, we were freer; we even took a 
walk for two hours for :the first time alongside the train, 
and the second time a long way in the fields together with 
Yakovlev. Everyone was travelling in good humor. 

2 ^?Yakovlev was not a reliable Bolshevik, and later joined 
the White Armies. His mission was to take the Tsar to 
Ekaterinburg, an industrial town in the heart of the 
Ural Mountains which the Soviet ^authorities believed 
would be safer than the remote toxin of Tobolsk. How- 
ever, he chose an easterly direction toward Omsk. When 
the Ural Soviet heard of what he was doing, they pro- 
claimed him a traitor to the Revolution and sent 
instructions to have him stopped. P. Bikov, President 
of the Ekaterinburg Soviet in 1918, has written his 
impressions of Yakovlev’s actions: "Later it was revealed 
that Yakovlev, knowing that the Romanovs would be shot in 
the Ural Territory, decided to save them and planned to 
take them out of the train on the way to Samara and hide 
them for a time in the mountains." Chamberlin, II, 88 - 89 . 

( 20 ?) 

April 17/30, Tuesday. 

It was another nice warm day. At 8:40 we arrived at 
Ekaterinburg. For three hours we sat at the station. 

There was a strong argument between the people here and our 
commissars. It was finally settled and the train went to 
another station — the commercial station. After an hour and 
a half Xtfe got off the train. Yakovlev transferred us to 
the local commissar, with whom we got into cars and drove 
through the deserted streets to a house prepared for us — 

the Ipatiev house. Little by little, they gathered our 


things, but Valya was not admitted. The house was nice 

and clean. We were given four large rooms: a corner bed- 
room, a dressing room, a dining compartment with window 
into the garden and a view of the low-lying part of the 
city, and finally a spacious hall with an arch without 

doors. For a long time we could not unpack our things, 


since the commissar, the commander, ^ and the officers of 
the guard were unsuccessful in inspecting our trunks, and 

248(j«he Ipatiev house belonged to a rich engineer. Around it 
a huge stockade had been built. Franklin, 159* 


The Soviet ordered the imprisonment of Prince Dolgorukov. 
Gilliard, 264. 


The commander was a factory worker, Avdeiev, whom Colonel 
described as dirty and uncouth. Avdeiev called the Tsar 
a "blood drinker" and lectured to the guards that Nicholas 
delighted in war and thrived upon shooting down Russian 
workers. : Franklin, 159- 

( 208 ) 

the inspections afterward were like a customs inspection — 
very strict, right down to Alix*s first-aid supplies. At 
this I blew up and abruptly 1 Expressed my opinion of the 
commissars. At 9:00 finally everything was arranged. We 
had supper at 4:00 from the hotel, and afterward we had a 
snack with tea* The accomodations were as follows: Alix, 
Marie, and I together in one bedroom, with a common 
dressing room in the dining room; Anna Demidov in the hall; 
Botkin, Chernadurov and Sedniev in the porch rooms with the 
officer of the guard. The guards were quartered in two 
rooms by the dining room. In order to go to the bathroom 
and W.C., we had to pass by the sentry post by the door of 
the guard quarters. Around the house there was a very high 
fence with two saplings outside the window; there were 
chains on the guard house in the garden, also. 

April 18/May 1, Wednesday. 

We slept very well. We had tea at 9*00. Alix slept late 
in order to rest from the travelling. On the occasion of 
the first of May we listened to music from some parade. 

They would not allow me to go into the garden today. I 
would like to wash myself in the bath. The water pipes are 
not operating, and we cannot use the water in the barrel. 
This is bad, because I suffer when I am not clean. The 


weather became wonderful. The sun shone warmly. It was 
15 degrees In the shade, and I breathed the air in the 
open window. 

April 19/May 2, Thursday. 

The day became nice, but xxindy and dust blew about the 
entire town. Later the sun shone through the window. In 
the morning I read a book to Alix — La sagesse et la 
destined by Maeterlinck — and I also continued the Bible. 

We had lunch late at 2:00, then all of us except Alix took 
advantage of our permit to go out into the garden for an 
hour. The weather became cooler, and even a little rain 
fell. It was very nice to breathe the fresh air. We heard 
the sound of the melancholy bells and our thoughts were 
that now we lacked the possibility to go to those wonderful 
services; beside that, we could no longer fast. Until tea 
time I took a nice bath. We ate supper at 9 ; 00. In the 
evening all of us, the inhabitants of the four rooms, sat 
together in the hall, where Botkin and I took turns reading 
the Twelve Evangelists, after which we went to bed. 

April 20/ May 3» Friday. 

During the night it got a lot colder; together with a rain, 
snow fell from time to time, but it is thawing now. The sun 
came out from time to time. It has been two days since our 

( 210 ) 

guards have been changed. Their quarters have been changed 
to the next floor, so that now it is undoubtedly better for 
us — now they do not shoot back and forth between the bath- 
room and the VI. C. and, moreover, they do not smoke in the 
dining room. Dinner was very late because of the influx of 
people into the city for the holiday. 2 -'’ 1 After dinner I 
took a walk with Marie and Botkin for an hour. We had tea 
at 6:00. During the morning and evening, as I have all 
these last days here, I read from the Gospel aloud in the 
bedroom. From the unclear hints and the surroundings it 
appears that again poor Valya will not be free and that he 
will have to work as a consequence, after which he will be 
liberated. There is no way for someone to go for him and 
handle the affair because Botkin will not i.try. We had a 
wonderful dinner at 9 *’ 30 • 

April 21/May Saturday. 

I woke up late. The day was overcast, cold, and with snowy 
squalls. All morning I read aloud, and wrote a little in a 
letter to the girls from Alix and Marie. I drew a picture 
of the plan of this house. We had dinner at 1:30. We took 
a walk for 20 minutes. At the request of Botkin, they let 

2 -^ 1 The family received tea and black bread in the morning, 
and their dinner' was served from a Soviet restaurant. 
Chamberlin, II, 89 . 

( 211 ) 

the clergyman and the deacon in to see us at 8:00. They 
held services and it was wonderful to offer prayers, even 
in these circumstances, and to hear the "Cross of Christ." 
After services we had supper and went to bed early. 

April 22/May 5» Sunday. 

All evening and part of J.the night we listened to the sound 
of the fireworks, which were being set off in various parts 
of the city. During the day it got colder, about 3 degrees 
of frost, and the weather was overcast. During the morning 
we celebrated Easter by ourselves, and after tea we ate an 
Easter cake and beautiful Easter eggs, but we could not 
have Easter services. We had dinner and supper at that 
time. I took a walk for half an hour. I talked for a long 
time with Botkin. 

April 23/May 6, Monday. 

I got up late and it was a cold, overcast morning. For <the 
second time we passed the birthday of dear Alix in seclusion, 
but this time without the whole family. I learned from the 
commander that Alexis had already gone out into the air 
five days ago — word of Godl I took a walk in the sunshine 
and in the snow. The cold continued to be about 3 or 4 
degrees of frost. Before dinner vie wanted to light the fire- 
place in the dining room, but it put out so much smoke that 

( 212 ) 

we had to put out the fire, but in the rooms it remained 

April 24/May 7* Tuesday. 

The day became better and a little warmer. Today we re- 
ceived allowances from the assembly, but I do not know how 
much. Both dinner and supper were an hour late. I walked 
a little farther than usual a because of the sunshine. 
Avdeiev, the commander, took out the plan of the house 
which was in my letter to the children, and kept it for 
himself, explaining, that I could not send this. During the 
evening I took a bath. 

April 25/May 8, Wednesday. 

Today I pleaded with the guards for our original property 
and clothing. In the staff there were some of our original 
officers, and the majority of the soldiers were Lettish, 
dressed in different jackets, with all types of attire. 

All of the officers had their swords with them and rifles. 
When we went out to walk all 'of the free soldiers went out 
into the garden to watch us; they talked among themselves 
and walked between us. Until dinner time I walked for a 
long time with an ex-officer, a native of Zabaiklya; he 
spoke of many things of interest, also about the small 
ensign who is stationed here; he was originally from Riga. 


The Ukrainians brought us our first telegram from Olga 
before dinner. Thanks to this we felt a little better 
toward them.^^ Beside that, from the duty rooms could be 
heard sounds of singing and playing on the piano, which 
had lately been taken from our hall. The food was fine 
and plentiful and on time. 

April 26/May 9* Thursday. 

Today in the duty rooms and among the sentries there has 
been some concern about us and telephones have been ringing. 
The Ukrainians were about all day, although they were off 
duty. Of course, no one told us what had happened; it 
could 'be the arrival of some detachment here and the 
people are in confusion. But the mood of the guards was 
jolly land very obliging. Together with the Ukrainians 
was my enemy "lobster eyes" /Avdeiev/ who had to go on our 
walks with us. He was always silent, since no one would 
talk to him. During the evening during bezik he became 
amiable. I went around the rooms with him and he left. 

April 27/May 10, Friday. 

At 8:30 we had to get up and dress, in order to receive 
yesterday’s deputy commander, who was transferred to us 
anew, with a kind face reminiscent of an artist. During 


the morning a wet snow fell, and during the day the sun 
came out. It was nice to walk. After tea "lobster eyes" 
again arrived and asked each one of us how much money we 
had, and then he asked us, to sign for the exact amount 
and took all the unnecessary money from the servants into 
custody as the treasurer of the Regional Soviet. Un- 
pleasant history! During the evening games the kind little 
ensign sat with us; he followed the games and talked a lot. 

April 28/May 11, Saturday. 

Today nothing unpleasant occurred. The weather was a little 
warmer. W.e took a walk for two hours. I got acquainted with 
some of the guards. We received a telegram from Tobolsk; 
there everything is fine, and they received our letters. 

We do not know when they will come here. We had to wait 
until 9 00 in the evening for -supper. I played bezi k. 

^5 2 After the transfer from Tobolsk, the living conditions 
of the family became very harsh. Avdeiev answered any 
questions about the Tsar with the expression, "let him 
"go to hell.’ f He would lurch in a drunken state into 
the bedroom of Alexandra at any hour of the night to 
inspect it. He posted sentries at the bathroom who 
would watch every movement of the family./ while they 
were in the bathroom, and he helped himself to the 
personal possessions of the family. ':They took the 
abusive treatment with little complaint. While the 
guards downstairs sang obscene and revolutionary songs, 
the family upstairs sang hymns and prayed. Franklin, 


April 29/ May 12, Sunday. 

It was nice sunny weather, but slightly cool. During the 
night the nice ensign was absent for an hour or two. He 
went dancing at the ball. All day he went around looking 
tired and sleepy. Alix sat in the garden on a bench during 
our walk. Dinner and supper were brought on time. 

April 30/May 13. Monday. 

The day became nice, cloudless. During the morning we took 
a walk for an hour. Dinner was unscrupulously late — instead 
of 1:00 it was brought at 3 00. Therefore, I went for a 
walk for a second time at about 4:00. Some old women and 
later some boys were at the fence watching us over the 
ditch; they were driven off, but everyone was laughing. The 
rascal Avdeiev Came out into the garden, but he stayed in 
the distance. ' We had supper at 8 : 30 . During the day I read 
aloud a good story by Leikin called Undespondent Russia . 
During the evening, bezik with Alix. 

May 1/14, Tuesday. 

We were happy to receive letters from Tobolsk; I received 
one from Tatiana. I read them one after the/ Other all 
morning. The weather became nice and warm. Toward noon 
the guard was changed and both commands were front-line 


soldiers, Russian and Lettish. ' The ensign of the guard 
was a dignified young man. Today they gave a pass to 
Botkin, so that during the day he is allowed to walk 
with us in areas where we are allowed to walk for only an 
hour; at the question why, the commander on duty replied: 
"So that it would resemble a prison regime." The food 
was on time. We purchased a samovar as an extreme measure 
so that we would not have to depend on the guard. During 
the evening while we were playing I took four beziks . 

May 3/16, Thursday. 

The day was overcast but warm. In the rooms, especially 
on the second floor, it felt .damp; the air coming through 
the windows was warmer than that in the room. I taught 
Marie how to play backgammon. Sednev*s fever was lower, 
but he stayed in bed all day. During the day we walked 
for exactly an hour. The number of sentries has been 
considerably increased. Most of them loaf around in the 
garden when we are not there.. During the day I received 
coffee, Easter eggs, and chocolate from Ella in Perm. 

The electricity went out in the dining room, and we ate 
by the light of candles, inserted in bottles. There was 
no electricity in the hall, either. I took a bath after 
Marie at 7 : 30 . 

( 21 ?) 

May 4/1?, Friday. 

It rained all '.day. We learned that the children had left 
Tobolsk, but Avdeiev did not say when. During the day 

he opened the doors of the locked room, which was for 
Alexis. It was large, and lighter than we expected, 
since it had two windows; our stove heated it well. I 
walked for only half an hour because of the rain. The 
food was plentiful, as it has been lately, and it was on 
time. The commander, his assistant, the commander of the 
sentries, and the electrician were all trying to be of 
assistance to fix the wire, but we nevertheless ate in 
darkness . 

May 5/18 , Saturday. 

The weather remained overcast and rainy. The lighting in 
the rooms was poor, and the boredom in the rooms was 
incredible. While playing with Marie I regularly won at 
backgammon. It is really like a poor bezik. I walked 

2 -53colonel Kobylinsky was no longer in command at Tobolsk. 

On April 28 he had been relieved of his position and re- 
placed by Rodionov. The new commander showed little sympathy 
for the prisoners. Ordered to move the rest of the family 
to Ekaterinburg as quickly as possible, he pressed Dr. 
Derevenko, who was treating Alexis, to declare the boy fit 
to travel. The doctor insisted that Alexis was far from 
being able to travel; however, when Rodionov saw the young 
boy sitting in a chair, he gave orders for the journey to 
begin on the next day. May 16. The doctor persuaded 
Rodionov to postpone the 'trip for four days. Botkin, 

206-10; Franklin, 160-61; Gilliard, 264-65. 


for an hour and. a half during the day. 2 5^ We had to wait 
for dinner from eight to nine o* clock. The electric 
lighting is fixed in the dining room, but in the hall it 
is not yet fixed. 

May 6/19, Sunday. 

I have lived for fifty years, and even to me it seems 
strange. The weather remained wonderful, as if it were 
made to order. At 11:30 the priest and deacon held 
services, which was very nice. I walked around with Mari 
until dinner. During the day we sat for an hour and a 
quarter in the garden basking in the warm sunshine. We 
have not received any news about the children, and we are 
beginning to wonder whether they left Tobolsk. 

May 7/20, Monday. 

It was a quiet day with good weather. In the morning I 
walked for half an hour, and during the day for an hour 
and a half. The guard was changed. Yesterday I began to 
read aloud a book by Averchenko called The Blue With The 
Gold . I took a bath until. dinner time. During the 
evening the electric lights were again playing tricks on 
us, and while Sednev fixed them we played bezik by the 
light of candles stuck in bottles. 


May 8/21, Tuesday. 

We could hear thunder toward the city. There was a 
thunder storm, and we had a light shower. I read for 
four hours until dinner time — War and Peace , which I had 
not read before. I walked for an hour with Marie. The 
sentries are now lodged in the basement. Dinner and 
supper were delayed for the better part of an hour. I 
received a congratulatory telegram from Olga for the sixth 
of May . 

May 9/22, Wednesday.- 

It was a slightly overcast day with a few showers. Both 
Marie and I became engrossed in War and Peace , and before 
tea we played a game of backgammon. We took a walk for an 
hour. None of us yet knows where the children are, or when 
they will arrive. It is irritating to be without news. 

May 10/23, Thursday. 

In the morning during the course of an hour they explained 
in succession that the children were a few hours distant 
from the town; then, that they had arrived at the station; 
then, that they had arrived at home, although their train 
had been here for almost two hours J It was a great joy 

25^0n May 20 the family and a few of the servants boarded 
the Rus . Rodionov, the commander for the trip, announced 
to the prisoners that life in the future would be much 

( 220 ) 

to see them again and embrace them after four weeks of 

separation and uneasiness. There was no end to our mutual 

questions and answers. Very few letters had passed between 

us. They had suffered a lot, poor things, in their stay at 

Tobolsk and during the course of their three-day journey. 

During the night snow fell and it stayed on the ground all 

day. Of all those who had arrived with them, they /the 

guards/ admitted only the cook Kharitonov and the nephew of 
2 ^ < 

Sednev. During the day xve went out for twenty minutes 

more difficult for them. Alexis could not walk, and was 
carried by the sailor Nagorny, who cared for him. Rodionov 
allowed the girls no privacy. Also on board were several 
of the faithful servants and friends: General Tatishchev, 

Dr. Derevenko, Countess Hendrikov, Baroness Buxhoevden, 

Miss Schneider, Mr. Gilliard, Mr. Gibbs, and several 
servants. The ship travelled to Tiumen, where they trans- 
ferred to a dingy train. When they reached Ekaterinburg 
Gilliard described the scene: "About nine o'clock the next 
morning several carriages were drawn up alongside our 
train, and I saw four men go towards the children's 
carriage. A few minutes passed and then Nagorny, the 
sailor attached to Alexis Nicolaievich , passed my window, 
carrying the sick boy in his arms; behind him came the 
Grand Duchesses, loaded with valises and small personal 
belongings. I tried to get out, but was roughly pushed 
back into the carriage by the sentry. I came back to the 
window. Tatiana Nicolaievna came last, carrying her little 
dog and struggling to drag a heavy brown valise. It was 
raining, and I saw her feet sink into the mud at every step. 
Nagorny tried to come to her assistance; he was roughly 
pushed back by one of the commissars ... .A few minutes later 
the carriage drove off with the children in the direction of 
the town." Botkin, 207; Franklin, 161-62; Gilliard, 269 . 


Leonid Sednev, a kitchen boy of fourteen, and Volkhov, a 
lady-in-waiting, were the only ones to escape from the 
Bolsheviks. The rest were to die. Ibid . , 2?0. 

( 221 ) 

into the garden; It was cold and terribly muddy. We waited 
until night for them to bring the bed and the necessary 
things from the railway station, but it was i'n vain, and 
all the girls had to sleep on the floor. Alexis '^spent the 
night on Mari e r s cot. 2 56 £ n the evening, as if on purpose, 
he injured his knee, and all night suffered a lot and pre- 
vented us from sleeping. 

fey 11/24, Friday. 

In the morning we waited for the admittance of our servants 
from Tobolsk aand the bringing of the remainder of our 
baggage. I decided to let my old helper Chemodurov go for a 
rest. We all sat together in the bedroom and I read a lot; 

1 began Unfinished Story by Apukhtin. 

2 5$Not only did the girls sleep on the floor, but for the 
want of mattresses, they were forced to sleep on piles 
of rags. Franklin, 1 65 . 

2 57 

Alexis arrived at the Ipatiev house — by a strange coinci- 
dence, the first Romanov, Michael, had been called to the 
throne three centuries earlier from the Ipatiev Monastery — 
in poor health. He had not recovered from a severe attack 
of haemophilia which he suffered at Tobolsk. After 
arriving in Ekaterinburg, he suffered another attack. 
Nagorny, his attendant, had been removed and was soon 
thereafter murdered. Dr. Derevenko visited only a few 
times under the supervision of the guards. Alexis never 
walked again. His father or one of his sisters carried 
him from room to room when he needed to be moved. His 
father would carry him to his death. Ibid . , 165* 

( 222 ) 

May 12/25* Saturday. 

Everyone slept well except Alexis who toward evening yester- 
day had to go to his room. He continued to have sharp 
pain, although it decreased periodically. The weather 
corresponded fully with our mood--a wet snow fell and it was 
about 3 degrees of frost. We held talks through Evgenii 
Sergeevich with the Regional Soviet about allowing Mr. 
Gilliard to be with us. The children brought some of his 
things after an unbelievably prolonged discussion. I walked 
for twenty minutes. Supper was delayed almost an hour. 

May 13/26, Sunday. 

We all slept very well except Alexis. He continued to have 
pain, but only every once in a while. He stayed in the bed 
in our bedroom. There were no services. The weather was as 
usual. There was still snow on the roof. As usual lately, 
V. N. Derevenko came to examine Alexis; he was accompanied 
by four people whom we met yesterday. After a short walk I 
went with the commander, Avdeiev, to the shed in which they 
had stored all our large baggage. We inspected several 
trunks which were open. I began to read a work by Saltykov- 
Shchedrin from the book case here in the house. During the 
evening we played bezik . 


May Ik/ 27 , Monday. 

The weather was warm. I read a lot. Alexis in general was 
better. We took a walk for an hour during the day. After 
tea Sednev and Nagorny were stopped and questioned by the 
Regional Soviet. I continued to examine the things the 
girls brought for us. The sentry under our window took a 
shot at our house and then explained that there was someone 
moving about near the window about ten o’clock. I believe 
now that he was simply playing with his rifle; sentries 
always do. 

May 15/28, Tuesday. 

Today it has been a month since our arrival here. Alexis 
has completely recovered; only his intervals of rest are 
longer. The weather was hot and stuffy, but in the rooms 
it was cool. We had dinner at 2:00. We took a walk and 
sat in the garden for an hour and a quarter. Alix cut my 
hair very well. 

May 16/29, Wednesday. 

The day was wonderful. We took a walk during the morning 
and again during the day. and basked in the sunshine. Alexi 
was better. Derevenko made him a plaster cast. We had 
supper at 8:00 during the light of day. Alix went to bed 


early because of a migraine headache. We have not heard of 
or been told about Sednev and Nagorny. 

May 17/30, Thursday. 

It was a very warm day. All evening, after cleaning the 
rooms, we became engrossed in our books until dinner time. 
The meal was served on time. ^ Alexis was very much 
quieter, and he only had pain for a little while in the 
evening. We took a walk before tea. I took a bath before 

May I 8 / 3 I, Friday. 

During the night it rained and also again during the day. I 
began to read the second volume of Saltykov- Shchedrin, Mr. 
Golovlevy . In the rooms it was dark and boring. We took a 
walk for half an hour. They are still raising a fence in 
front of Alexis* s window. 

May 19/ June 1, Saturday. 

The weather was overcast and warm. I read all morning. I 
took a walk for a few minutes less than an hour before tea. 
Alexis had almost no pain at all. The vegetables are 
growing little by little. Dinner was again served after two 

2 -!5®The f 00( 3_ Was of very poor quality; moreover, the sentries 
removed the better pieces of it right before the family. 
Ibid . , 165 • 


o’clock — Kharitonov warmed it up at 8:00. I played back- 
gammon with Marie. 

May 20/ June 2, Sunday. 

At 11:00 Mass was served for us; Alexis was present, lying 
on the bed. The weather was nice, hot. We took a walk after 
Mass. It is unbelievable to sit so secluded and not be 
able to go into the garden Ttfhen you x^ish, and spend the 
wonderful evenings out in the air. Prison regime! 

May 21/ June 3» Monday. 

It was a nice warm day. We took a walk for two hours. 

Down below in the sentry quarters here again there was a 
shot ; the commander came upstairs to ask if the bullet came 
through the floor. Alexis was not well; as usual he spent 
the day in the bed in our room. I finished the second 
volume of Saltykov. During the evening we played bezik . 

May 22/ June Tuesday. 

It was hot and stuffy in the rooms. We took a walk only 
during the day. About five o’clock a storm came, and 
another one during the evening. Alexis is quite a bit 
better and the swelling in his knee has gone down quite a 
bit. My feet and the small of my back hurt, and I slept 


May 23/ June 5* Wednesday. 

Moved the clock two hours ahead. Today Alexis got dressed 
and was carried out into the air by the front door. The 
weather was wonderful. Alix and Tatiana sat with him for 
half an hour. We took a walk in the garden during this 
time. I myself felt poor. We lay down to sleep while it 
was still light. 

May 24-/ June 6, Thursday. 

All day I suffered pain from hemorrhoids; consequently, I 
lay on the bed because that was more comfortable than 
applying a compress. Alix and Alexis spent an hour and a 
half out in the air, and after them we spent an hour. The 
weather was wonderful. 

May 25/ June 7, Friday. 

I spent dear Alix*s birthday in bed with great pain in my 
feet and other places. The last two days I have felt a 
little better. I have been able to eat sitting in the easy 

May 27/ June 9» Sunday. 

Today I got up and abandoned the bed entirely. The day was 
bright. We took a walk twice with Alix, Alexis, Olga, and 
Marie before dinner. I walked with Tatiana and Anastasia 

( 22 ?) 

before tea. The vegetables are very nice and juicy, and 
their smell is pleasant. I am reading with interest the 
twelfth volume of Saltykov — The Wise Old Man . 

May 28/ June 10, Monday. 

It was a very warm day. In the shed where our trunks were 
stored they are constantly opening boxes and taking various 
objects and provisions from Tobolsk, and they take them 
without explanation or excuse. All Ifchis makes me think 
that they could easily take the things they like from the 
house, and then they would be lost from us. It is sicken- 
ing! Their behavior during the last week has also changed: 
our wardens are trying not to speak to us, as if they feel 
rather uneasy or afraid of something about us. Incompre- 

May 29/ June 11, Tuesday. 

Dear Tatiana turned 21 years old today. During the night 
a. strong wind blew straight into the basement window , 
thanks to which the air in our bedroom was finally clean 
and healthfully cool. I read for a long time. We walked 
again twice in succession. For breakfast Kharitonov served 
stewed fruit to the pleasure of everyone. During the 
evening, as usual, bezik . 


Kay 31/ June 13 » Ascension Day. 

For a long time during the morning, but in vain, we waited 
for them to bring the priest to hold services; everyone was 
occupied at church. During the morning, therefore, every- 
one went out into the garden. Avdeiev came and talked a 
long time. According to what he said he and the Regional 
Soviet are apprehensive about the performance of the 
anarchists and, therefore, it could be that we might have 
to leave quickly, probably to Moscow. ^9 He ordered pre- 
parations for the departure. We quickly started packing, 
but quietly, in order not to attract the attention of the 
sentries. About 11:00 he returned and said that we still 
had a few days. Consequently, we are still bivouacing 
with everything packed. The weather was fine; I took walks 
as always , twice a day. Finally after supper Avdeiev, 
slightly drunk, explained to Botkin that the anarchists had 
been captured and we were no longer in jeopardy, so our 
departure was cancelled. After all our preparations, this 
was very annoying. During the evening we played bezik . 

June 3/16 > Sunday. 

All during the last few weeks I have been reading, and 

259Humors spread during the entire time of captivity that 

Nicholas would be taken to Moscow for trial. Franklin, 15^. 


today I finished Emperor Pa,ul I by Shilder; it was very 
interesting. Everyone is waiting for Sednev and Nagorny 
who were to be released. 

June 5/18, Tuesday. 

Dear Anastasia turned seventeen years old today. It x-ras 
hot outside and upstairs ;it was terrible. I continued to 
read Saltykov's 'third volume; it is '>f ascinating and witty. 
The whole family took a walk before tea. Since yesterday 
Kharitonov has been preparing food for us from the pro- 
visions brought in every two days. The girls are learning 
to cook from him; during the evening they prepared the meal, 
and in the morning they baked bread. It was not bad. 

June 9/21, Saturday. 

For the last few days the weather has been nice, but very 
hot; in our rooms the stuffiness was incredible, parti- 
cularly at night. At the request of Botkin, they will 
allow us half an hour walks. ^Today during tea six men came, 
probably from the Regional Soviet. Maybe we can open some 
of the windows. The authorization for that will probably 
take about two xtfeeks! They quickly went over various 
subjects and quietly examined the windows for us. The 
aroma from all the vegetable gardens and flower gardens 

is ’wonderful. 


June 10/23 > Sunday. 

Today we celebrated an odd event; this morning they opened 
the windows for us one by one. Evgenii Sergeevich was 
having trouble with his kidney and suffered a lot. At 
11:30 regular Mass was held and later vespers. For the last 
few days Alix and Alexis have eaten with us in the dining 

26 0 

room. In addition to that they went for a two-hour walk. 

The day was splendid. It appears that yesterday’s visitors 
were, commissars from Petrograd. The air in the rooms 
became fresh toward evening and a little cooler. 

June 12/24, Tuesday. 

Yesterday and today it was amazingly hot. In the rooms 
it was also hot in spite of the windows being open all the 
time. We took a walk during the day for two hours. After 
dinner two severe thunderstorms came up. It freshened the 
air. Evgenii Sergeevich is much better, but he is still 

June 14/2 6 , Thursday. 

Our dear Marie turned 19 years old today. The weather was 
almost tropical, 26 degrees in the shade and in the rooms 
24 degrees. It is very difficult to endure. We spent an 

2 °Alexis was still sick, and his father carried him for 
the walks in the garden. Gilliard, 284. 


uneasy night and stayed awake with our clothes on. All 
this was because the other day we received two letters, 
one after the other, in which it was reported that we 
should get ready to be taken away by some of our devoted 
friends. x However, it he days passed and nothing was 
heard, but the waiting and absence of news were very 

June 21/ July 4, Thursday. 

Today there was a change of commanders. During the dinner 

Belorodov and someone else came in and told us that Yurovsky 

26 ? 

xtfas being' appointed instead of Avdeiev. ^ During the day 
until tea he /Belorodov/ and his assistant drew up a list 
of our and the children* s gold objects; the larger objects 
(rings, bracelets) they took themselves. They explained 

2 °^The family knew that it was in line of the advancing army 
of the anti-Bolsheviks. They heard of loyalist plans to 
rescue them and they felt that there was a chance of 
escape. By the beginning of July they heard the sound of 
artillery fire of the approaching Czech Legion. 

Franklin, 165-66. 


Commissar Belorodov was president of the Divisional Soviet 
of the Urals. On this day Avdeiev and his adjutant Mochkin 
were arrested and replaced by Jacob Yurovsky and his 
assistant Nikulin. The factory worker guards were trans- 
ferred, for Yurovsky brought ten men with him, nearly all 
of them Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war and belonging to 
the Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revo- 
lution and Speculation, or Cheka. From here on, these men 
were the inside guards and dealt only with the prisoners. 
The Ipatiev house became the ’’house destined for a special 
purpose." Franklin, 169; Gilliard, 28L-86. 


that an unpleasant story about our house had been heard. 
They mentioned that the loss of our goods, which I believed 
and which I wrote about on the 28th of May, was confirmed. 

I pity Avdeiev, but he is guilty in that he did not keep 
his men from stealing from the trunks in the shed. 

June 23/ July 6 , Saturday. 

Yesterday the commander Yurovsky brought a box containing 
all our jewels and asked us to verify its contents. He 
asked us to sign a receipt for them and left them in our 
custody. The weather is cooler, and in the bedroom it is 
easier to breathe. Avdeiev and his assistant xtfere not 
only guarding us but also robbing us. And, speaking of 
property, they even kept for themselves the larger part of 
the goods brought for us from the convent. It is only now, 
after the new change, that we learned about that, because a 
large quantity of provisions was found in the kitchen. 
Lately, as usual, I- have been reading a lot. Today I began 
the seventh volume of Saltykov. I like his writing very 
much, both his articles and his stories. The was 
rainy. We walked for half an hour and returned home to 
dry off. 

June 25/ July 8, Monday. 

Our life is not changed much by Yurovsky. He came into the 


bedroom to verify the seal on the box and glanced out the 
open window. Today all morning and until 4:00 they checked 
and repaired. the electric lighting. Upstairs, in the house 
the Letts are standing sentry and also outside the house — 
sometimes soldiers and sometimes workers. According to the 
rumors some of Avdeiev*s followers are already under arrest. 
The door to the shed containing our baggage was sealed off. 
Oh, if that had only been done a month ago l During the 
night there was a. storm and it got a little cooler. 

June 28/ July 11, Thursday. 

During the morning about 10:30 three workers came to open 
the window and raised a heavy grating and fastened it to the 
frame, without any warning to us from Yurovsky. Decidedly 
this individual pleases us less and less. 

June 30/ July 13. Saturday. 

Alexis took his first bath since Tobolsk. His knee is 
healed, but he still cannot straighten it. The weather 
was warm and pleasant. We ha-ve no news from the outside 


( 234 ) 


The Ural Territorial Soviet decided on June 29, I 9 I 8 , 
to kill the entire imperial family and the servants. The 
military branch of t-he Soviet announced that Ekaterinburg 
could hold out against the advancing White Army for only 
three more days. 1 The family would not be given a trial 
nor forewarned of their fate. 

Jacob Yurovsky, a Jew, was ordered to carry out the 
killing. He had been born in Siberia, had lived for a 
time in Berlin and become 'a Lutheran, and later had returned 
to Russia as a photographer. During the war he served as a 
hospital assistant and took m n active part in the revo- 
lutionary movements at the front. He was a member of : the 
Ural Soviet. ^ 

Specially trained men from the Cheka replaced the 
factory workers who had been guarding the imperial family. 
Around midnight, on the night of July 3> Yurovsky woke the 
imperial family and told them- to dress, that they were to be 
moved to a safer place. The dressing and preparation for 
the move took about an hour. The Tsar, Tsaritsa, Tsarevich, 

^Ekaterinburg fell about two weeks later, on July 25. 


Chamberlin, II, 90, based upon the report of Sokolov, the 
official investigator for the White Army. 

( 235 ) 

the four daughters, the family doctor Botkin, the cook 
Kharitonov, the butler Trupp, and the chambermaid Dehidov 
moved to the basement to await the three cars which were 
to take them away. 3 

The Tsar stood in the middle of the room, with his son 
and wife seated next to him. The four daughters and the 
servants lined themselves along the walls. Yurovsky told 
the Tsar that he was to die. Nicholas said, 'What?" and 
began to move toward Yurovsky. Yurovsky aimed his pistol 
at the Tsar's head and fired point-blank. He turned the 
weapon on Alexis and shot him. The rest of the men in the 
room began to fire and soon the > room ran with blood and 
smelled of gunpowder. The room filled with groans and 
shrieks. After the first volley, three victims remained 
alive. The chambermaid Anna Demidov was only slightly 
wounded and ran around the room shielding herself with a 
pillow. She was clubbed with rifle butts and bayoneted. 
Anastasia screamed and tried to get to her feet. A soldier 
pinner her foot to the floor and then killed her with a 
blow from his rifle ±>utt. Young Alexis groaned and Yurovsky 
fired two more bullets into his head. The rest of the 
victims, were bayoneted to insure their death. 

3Botkin, 231 - 32 , based upon the Sokolov investigation. 

( 236 ) 

The assassins stripped the bodies and piled them into 
waiting trucks. Yurovsky and his men took the bodies to an 
abandoned mine in the vicinity of the little village of 
Koptyaki about thirteen miles from Ekaterinburg. Surrounded 
by troops for two days, the men put the bodies into benzine 
and sulphuric acid and then burned the remains. 

To prevent the bodies from falling into the hands of 
the White Army, Yurovsky and his men took the bodies to a 
distant swamp . 

When the White Army arrived, the investigators 
neglected to search this swamp area, and in the words of 
the President of the Ekaterinburg Soviet, ‘'the corpses 
remained and have now happily rotted. "-5 

^ Chamberlin, II, 90 - 92 . 




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